Wired UK is a powerhouse publisher. From tech and science to business and politics, it’s one of the main sources of news and information for millions of readers around the world.
Not only does Wired UK produce a bi-monthly magazine that reports on a wide range of topics, but they also produce tons of digital content each day.
For years, Wired UK’s teams have relied heavily on various, often inaccurate and clunky spreadsheets to manage their website, projects, production, or as they put it... “all their stuff”.
Then came Trello, and with it, boosted productivity, organization, collaboration, and publishing bliss 🙌
Productivity And Collaboration: A Hard(Wired) Connection
To keep up with their high production cadence, the audience growth team at Wired UK needed to ditch their spreadsheet obsession and create a repeatable process for managing and updating their website content (think: a whopping 1,000+ articles each year!)
Andy, Audience Growth Manager at Wired UK, explains:
“Trello helps make everything entirely transparent for us”
Used left to right, this Editorial Workflow-inspired Trello board creates a smooth pipeline to turn ideas into top-ranking pieces of content. This is the process their team uses to sprinkle some calm into their chaotic editorial process:
- Commissioned: Cards are placed here when an article or piece of content is confirmed to be written in-house or by a freelancer. Then, relevant stakeholders are added to the card. Labels indicate in which sections of the website the content will appear.
- Ready for section editor: The Wired team has several editors for specific verticals, who will be the first person/main commissioning editors for articles; editors will do the edit on the board and then move to “Ready to final edit” for web editor.
- Ready for final edit: Web editor evaluates the piece.
- Ready for SEO: The SEO team performs an optimization analysis and will move to the relevant subsequent lists (“Waiting for images,” for example; essentially means do not publish).
- Waiting for images: Project cards are moved here when they’re all set for visual assets to be added.
- Ready for live: Content that has been edited, and all assets are ready. This list is treated as a ‘Approved - in queue to publish” list.
- Scheduled/live: Content has been shipped and ready for the world to read! 🚀
There’s even a bonus column, which easily enables pitches or ideas to be added on an ad-hoc basis, keeping collaboration top of mind.
The team also has a separate board for social planning, utilizing Butler to move projects from “Live” on the editorial calendar to that board.
Trello Features and Power-Ups Used By Wired UK
Since the Wired UK team uses Trello Business Class, they can use an unlimited amount of Power-Ups on their board. These are a few of their favorite ones since they help their team get information at a glance and removes tedious, manual work from their process.
The Calendar Power-Up is enabled on this board to give their team and writers a visual view of the publishing schedule. The entire team can see in advance what’s planned to be published on both the digital platform and in their magazine.
This has helped them reduce the number of Slack messages the team sends for run date updates.
Card Repeater Power-Up
The Wired UK team uses the Card Repeater Power-Up to remind them to update their traffic numbers and other important statistics of their published content. For example, they have doubled domestic traffic over the last few years thanks to improved team organization and collaboration (and these friendly reminders).
Custom Fields Power-Up
The Custom Fields Power-Up is used to store the URL for any given article. The team also uses custom fields to display the last date an article was shared, and any relevant social stats. This gives the team an at-a-glance view of how a piece of content is performing.
A Butler rule moves anything from published on the editorial calendar directly into a “Recently Published” column on the social media board so that the social team knows when content goes live and is ready to be promoted. This type of reminder that isn’t reliant on a person has helped the team move quickly and have less content slip through the cracks.
Down To The Wire And Every Last Detail
The Wired UK team has relied on Trello to be their source of truth for over two years and they’ve noticed a few magical things have happened.
With Trello as their go-to project management comrade, they’ve been able to:
- Double their domestic traffic
- Anticipate problems before they arise
- Create separate boards for separate commercial partner projects to ensure each project gets an adequate amount of attention and focus
- Experience less-stressful Fridays (they have to plan in advance for publishing on weekends)
- View in advance items that are coming up for a more prepared to-do list
- Feel the overall benefits of more organized processes 🙌
Andy explains how Trello helped transform their team processes:
"The great thing about Trello is that it is a blank canvas, and you can set it up in a way that works for your team — other tools try to force you to work in a way they think works for you. It's been a really transformative part of the way we work.”
Whether you’re a small team or a large publisher, Wired’s process for managing their editorial workflow can work for you.