Digital Success: Surseer Woche AG produces "Story first"

Surseer Woche AG has been working with the WoodWing Enterprise Aurora editing system since November 2018. Together with its partner newspaper Sempacher Woche, Surseer Woche has a print run of more than 8,000 subscriptions and reaches around 28,000 readers. The digital platform was adapted in May 2019. Now, the editorial team produces all content in accordance with the ‘Story first’ principle.

Starting point

Surseer Woche had been a traditional weekly newspaper for 25 years. All processes complied with the newspaper’s weekly rhythm. The digital channels remained the background and were only filled with content after the weekly newspaper was published – in line with the principle ‘print first – digital later’. Only teasers for the stories were published on the website. The old CMS did not allow modern story-telling.

Surseer Woche was produced in an InDesign environment, but strongly analogue, rather than system-based. Elvis by WoodWing served as a media database. In addition to the print channel, Surseer Woche AG now stepped up its investment in its online presence. This was primarily due to changes in the media landscape. Many readers increasingly use online sources to obtain information on current events. This aspect was the foundation for the transition to the new WoodWing Enterprise Aurora editing system.

“Surseer Woche needs modern media channels that can be updated each day. Digital outlets need to switch from weekly to a daily rhythm.”
Dominique Moccand, Editor-in-Chief, Surseer Woche AG

Objectives

The objective was to provide readers with the contents of Surseer Woche each Thursday in print, as well as daily on the surseerwoche.ch online platform. Contents should be updated hourly, rather than just daily. Rather than publishing only a teaser, all relevant information from the region should be provided on the website. The weekly print edition then delivers the ‘best of’ the contents each Thursday. The digital channels should be monetised with digital subscriptions and online advertisements. The entire Surseer Woche brand would be geared towards the club concept: As a Klub S member, readers benefit from exclusive events and discounts and stay up to date through the newspaper, ePaper or mobile content.

In order to publish analogue and digital channels simultaneously, contents would need to be created in a channel-neutral manner. WoodWing Aurora closes this gap between digital and print. The fundamental principle is known as ‘story first’. Contents is structured and recorded independent of the channel in the Content Station Editor. They can then be adjusted to any format.

“The objective of having a high degree of automation in the recording and publication of the articles – for digital and print – guided us throughout the entire project. The options offered by Aurora provided us with the opportunity to reorganise resources.”
Stefan Barmettler, a&f systems ag

Particularities

The transition to an editing system was uncharted territory for Surseer Woche AG. Due to the close integration of WoodWing Aurora into the web CMS, the editors are no longer active in the latter. Instead, all workflows from article placement to paywall are centrally managed via Aurora.

The Surseer Woche editorial team comprises six employees. The regional newspaper is therefore a great example for the suitability of WoodWing Aurora for small to medium-sized enterprises.

Challenges

The biggest challenge for the Surseer Woche editorial staff was the transition from the weekly to a daily rhythm. It takes time to establish the ‘story first’ approach among the editors. Now, the story itself is paramount, rather than the space in the print newspaper. Resource allocation was not easy, either: In addition to the weekly newspaper, a new channel would have to be filled with content. This required pooling of resources and prioritisation.

Conclusion

The transition to WoodWing Aurora was a resounding success. Since the start of the project, user numbers on surseerwoche.ch have tripled. Around 20 percent of the traffic is generated through social media, thanks to offensive social media strategy. Website access from mobile devices increased from less than 30 percent to more than half of the users. The modern story-telling with videos, live tickers and image galleries is also extremely well received by readers. Production with WoodWing Enterprise Aurora facilitates simple but efficient management of the digital channels.

Surseer Woche AG’s transition to WoodWing Aurora shows that the ‘story first’ approach is becoming increasingly important, even for smaller enterprises. The project progressed smoothly, and the editorial team is more than satisfied with the result:

“The digital presence of Surseer Woche has experienced a noticeable and visible push, and is received exceptionally well by readers.”
Dominique Moccand, Editor-in-Chief, Surseer Woche

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Urs Felber, Geschäftsführer / VRP
Urs
Felber
Managing Director / Chair of the Board of Directors
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