Who is the largest publisher in the United States? McGraw-Hill? Time-Warner? Simon & Schuster?
It’s not any of the names that you associated with traditional publishing. The largest publisher in the US is the Department of Defense, closely followed by Boeing.
It’s an oft-stated truism that these days, with the rise of digital media and multi-channel communication, that every company is a publisher. As one example, the Content Marketing Institute recently posted a blog detailing the story of how an electronics company built it’s own media arm by purchasing several media properties with subscriber lists in their target audience demographic.
It isn’t just a recent phenomenon, it’s always been the case. If you create something to be read, or seen, by someone outside the company, then you are a publisher. Advertising, price lists, invoices, user manuals, online help – they are all publishing. It’s just that some recognize it more than others.
My first management role was heading a large dedicated publications department, for a European aircraft manufacturer. That department was called Technical Publications, and over the years I’ve encountered many other ‘publication’ departments and organizations, but they are often referred to by other names such as ‘information development,’ almost as if the company didn’t want to admit that they published anything.
In a lot of cases it’s because they perceive such activities as “a necessary evil,” and it’s often budgeted as an overhead. Yet content is a business asset like any other and can have a positive effect on the bottom line. When companies learn how to operationalize, manage, and leverage publishing of their business it becomes a value-added revenue generating profit center.
The companies and organizations that are starting to understand how to leverage their content are not only looking to existing media properties to gain the journalistic, editorial, and production skills needed, they are also looking to how they can leverage technology developed for the established publishing market in new ways.
This is a trend we are seeing ourselves with the OpenText™ Content Hub for Publisher’s (CHP) platform, our product initially developed for, and well established in, the newspaper industry. CHP is designed to sit at the heart of publication workflows as the system of record, and handle the large volumes of content that newsrooms across the world are exposed to on a daily basis, and efficiently manages the repackaging and distribution of that content to multiple publishing channels, such as web, print, mobile and tablet.
Over the last twelve months or so we have seen new customers, and increasing interest, from organizations outside the traditional newspaper market that need to handle large amounts of new content and publish that high-volume content on a regular cadence. These organizations are publishing things like industry specific news and alerts across their organizations, and to members, subscribers, and customers, as well as to their industry specific media channels.
High volume information distribution and traditional news is merging, and no matter the delivery channel it’s all leveraging the skills, experience, and technology of publishing content.