Daily Racing Form

Implementation of the vjoon K4 publishing system and integration with Drupal for single source authoring of content for print and Web.

Daily Racing Form (DRF), "America's Turf Authority Since 1894," has provided horse racing fans with industry news and deep statistical analysis for over 116 years. Beginning as a four-page broadsheet publication, DRF now produces up to 2,000 unique pages of statistical and editorial copy every day, in as many as 25 daily editions.

DRF looked for a comprehensive plan for its editorial and publishing processes across print and digital channels. This included updating and integrating the company’s workflow management system, Web content management system and digital asset management system in an effort to improve creation, delivery and discoverability of content. In addition to modernizing DRF’s technology platform, the company needed a strategy for single source authoring of content for print and Web.

DRF management wanted to provide fresh and timely content to its customers and improve search engine rankings to help attract a larger audience and grow the business. To meet these goals, DRF needed a more efficient publishing workflow that would provide reporters, editors, designers and production staff a single set of tools to create and publish content for print and Web in parallel within a fast-paced news environment.

Our team helped DRF define an organizational strategy for delivery of content to print, Web, and mobile devices. Then, we helped DRF develop a scalable technical architecture that would support the organization’s needs around multi-channel publishing. The primary components of the new architecture included the Drupal Web content management system, tightly integrated with the vjoon K4 publishing system, an editorial workflow management system used by editors, designers, and production professionals to collaborate more effectively.

Modernized Workflow Management

Our team met with DRF executive management, editorial, design, production, and IT staff stakeholders to elicit business and functional requirements and define appropriate workflows that would help all stakeholders collaborate efficiently for rapid content publishing to print, Web and mobile devices. We then documented a strategy to improve the organization’s editorial workflow.

The essential aspect of this consultation was to help editorial staff rapidly publish content to print and the company’s Website. At the time, DRF was using a product called , which offered a clunky and error-prone interface into layout software. Multiple versions of layouts were created, so editorial and design staff resources were often confused about which version of a layout or article was the most recent.

Our team helped migrate DRF’s editorial operations from Scoop with QuarkXPress over to vjoon k4 with Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy software. First we met with the editorial, design and production staff to analyze the current workflow and uncover impediments in the process. Throughout the workflow analysis process, we offered insight on how to improve the editorial process with workflow adjustments.

Next, we met with DRF editors, designers and production professionals to capture requirements, including metadata specifications, for the configuration of the vjoon K4 publishing system. Our team then installed and configured the vjoon K4 publishing system integrated with Oracle Database and Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy in conformance with DRF's workflow and functional requirements.

We then conducted collaborative sessions to review and adjust the configuration prior to training. This review process ensured that the system conformed to the needs of editors, designers and production staff.

Our team next trained DRF staff on Adobe InDesign, InCopy and the vjoon K4 publishing system, and provided support to the end users and system administrators as they transitioned to the new platform and toolset. We also trained DRF editorial staff on SEO best practices and the use of article metadata in vjoon K4 to enrich and categorize content for publishing to the Website.

Editorial content for both print and Web is created within Adobe InCopy and vjoon K4. Once content is edited and enriched with metadata, an automated task within vjoon K4 delivers the content to Drupal using vjoon K4 XML Exporter. This new content is automatically imported into Drupal and posted online.

The entire DRF editorial team now has a hand in writing content and enriching articles with SEO metadata for stories that appear both in print and online. Breaking news stories are filed within vjoon K4 and appear online within minutes. DRF’s daily paper has an improved clean look, taking advantage of Adobe InDesign and InCopy’s superior typography controls.