What is Quality?
Quality implies a certain degree of excellence, the fitness of use and purpose of the content.
Quality and reliability often go hand-in-hand. A publication with good quality content will have higher reliability among users.
For a publishing house, good quality content may take time to curate. However, the benefits outweigh the costs (in this case, time). A content-pipeline serves well to plan content for your publication. It helps organize relevant content and arrange them appropriately. Many publications plan interviews, news reports and features months in advance. Prior planning helps decide what is useful, and what is not.
Good quality content helps a publishing house build trust and reliability among readers. Online publishing house The Better India (TBI) is a good example of the same. TBI curates new and original content that discusses ‘good news’ across the country. Each article serves as a benchmark for the next. Over time, TBI has gained a large readership and prominence in the online publication industry.
Online publishers such as LinkedIn Pulse, curate articles sourced from the users of the website. LinkedIn Pulse organizes a calendar which has a different content theme for every month. Users are encouraged to contribute articles related the same theme.
Publications such as National Geographic, have become a household name because for credible content. NatGeo creates and disseminates educational programs about the environment and planet and has a wide readership.
Essentials of Quality:
Quality Improvement in Communication
Clear communication ensures objectives and strategies of content are in place, and well known to everyone. When the objectives are clearly laid out, the team can work actively towards the same. Communication in everyday business has to be consistent and reliable.
Lead by Example
A good leadership encourages and ensures quality in maintained in content and delivery. When the manager of a publishing house insists on quality content and functions, it trickles down to the content producers (writers and editors). The manager ensures checks and balances are maintained while publishing content.
In the publishing world, quality can be defined by – accuracy, reliability and fitness of use and purpose of the content. Good content is produced after adequate research on a topic. The users must be provided the accurate facts and figures of a story, followed by an analysis.
For instance, business today.in offers the trading prices and rise and fall in stocks prices. These facts and figures need to be represented accurately. The publication also provides detailed analysis into stocks, their projected prices over the following months. Such information helps users take decisions based on the publication.
A culture of quality helps the team takes pride in the content they produce and deliver.
Involve Peers and Processes
A peer-driven approach for ensuring quality has been found to be the most effective in building quality. Before a publication is released, peers can contribute to proofreading, giving suggestions, input and perspectives. This helps develop well-rounded content. Quality control becomes effective when it is a collective effort.
A culture of quality can be effectively passed on when employees in a publishing company experience quality focused actions. This can be series of steps or certain checks and balances before a content is approved for release.
For instance, thehindubusinlessline.com follows a structure to their news reports – they provide the news first, then follow it up with facts and figures, and in the end give a background of the story.
In a publication house, writers and editors are the ones who are actively involved in the content creation process. As a publishing house, these content creators must be given adequate authority to select and modify those articles that will finally be included in the publication. While the manager/lead should provide guidance when required, content creators must get the freedom to take decisions. Too much, or too little control can affect quality adversely.
A publisher must ensure well researched and structured write-ups do not go unnoticed. When an article provides detailed information on a topic and gives in-depth analysis, it must be included in the publication. This motivates contributors and writers to go ensure their content up to the mark. The best news articles can be ‘Featured’, or made the lead story, to get maximum reader attention. This ensures the efforts taken by the writers are recognized.
This will also instill pride in ownership of the work that the employees do.
In the digital age, attention spans are short, and competitors are plenty. Users will quickly move to a newer channel if they do not like a publisher’s content. Meanwhile, good content helps builds loyalty among users and encourages them to spend more time on a website.