If you thought airport information systems were limited to arrival and departure boards then Munich Airport has news for you.
One of the most fascinating aspects to emerge from corporate publishing is the quality of stories waiting to be told by companies themselves and Munich Airport is turning out to be something of a star.
Stories range from aircraft and services, to the community (the FC Bayern relationship for example), the individuals (meet the airport 'polar bear'), and the downright unexpected (say hello to Josie Pepper – the welcoming robot). All of which is published across dozens of platforms from paper to social media, not forgetting advertorials in selected third-party publications.
It's a vast and fast-evolving scope of work and that means using editorial calendar software with the capacity to match the imagination of the communications department.
Christoph Obermeier, Head of Issue Management, gives us some idea of the scale of the operation:
"Munich Airport has a high diversity of corporate media products. We publish a monthly newspaper for 10,000 employees and 200,000 residents. Further news platforms include an intranet for employees and a newsroom on our website.
In addition, we provide a B2C newsletter, run channels on the most relevant social-media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube), and have websites dedicated to special matters or campaigns. We also regularly produce advertorials."
"In the near future we will launch a digital signage system with information for staff without access to a workstation computer, for example ground-handling staff."
Building new processes: Corporate publishing can be everyone's job
That extension of the system also means that content and planning input will no longer be the preserve of editors, but also of representatives from the departments who will have access to the workflow courtesy of Desk-Net.
As if that wasn't enough to keep the team busy they are also planning to release a mobile app with customised news for their employees.
All of which requires careful planning to ensure timeliness, eradicate duplication of content production, and maximise the reach across different platforms with social and traditional media working in tandem to spread their messages. Which is where corporate content planning software comes in.
The rising complexity made organisational and procedural adaptions necessary.
Munich Airport distinguishes between editors who are responsible for content-production (text, pictures and films) and employees (or agencies) who adapt and manage content on different media channels.
They are experts for newspapers, social media or online platforms respectively and know exactly the needs of their respective communities. Desk-Net is the virtual hub where editors and channel managers coordinate their daily work.
Before settling on Desk-Net as that hub the communications team had initially adapted the content calendar tools at hand to create ad-hoc editorial calendaring but quickly found their limits: "We first tried using Outlook and Excel spreadsheets shared in public folders – and we failed. Nobody was happy with the self-made products."
So Munich Airport trialled a number of professional editorial calendar solutions and selected Desk-Net: "It has the best price-performance-ratio. And we liked the usability."
"Desk-Net is the core of our corporate media department"
At Munich Airport Desk-Net is the hub where stories are collected and despatched. Christoph Obermeier explains how their process works:
"Desk-Net is the core of our collaboration in the corporate media department. At the moment we have 52 users.
Editors use it several times daily: the first time before our morning meeting where we discuss the issues of the day, then when they schedule reporters or photographers, and last but not least when they share the content for all our stakeholders that use the content for their platform.
Not all of those 52 are editors, they also include channel managers as well as the marketing, and human-resources departments."
"We commission articles, pictures, films and graphics via Desk-Net. For us it’s very useful the software has the proposal-box feature, where editors can accept or refuse an issue.
Usually an editor creates an issue in Desk-Net, then posts all the information he has initially, then invites everybody who is expected to deliver content including photos, graphics, and video. Everyone involved then has the planning."
Although Desk-Net takes care of centralising that editorial calendaring, Obermeier still emphasises the importance of the face to face factor at the the 9.15 daily meeting.
Make corporate story planning efficient: Re-publishing and re-purposing with Desk-Net
With all content not only planned but now archived within Desk-Net it gives editors the overview and control required for re-publishing.
We re-publish and adapt our content for different media-platforms. Often we publish first on our internal media and then on external platforms like our website or in advertorials.
Planning with Desk-Net saves time and nerves
Functions and features count for little if staff are reluctant to use a tool but while Obermeier is aware of the potential risks he reports a smooth adoption.
“The reaction after the first look was often: 'It’s complicated' When you demonstrate the core-functions and the benefit, however, most of them learn how to use Desk-Net pretty fast.
Our job and our passion is creating news. Nobody in my team wants to spend more time than necessary with administration and management. Desk-Net helps us to reduce the time for planning and governing to a minimum.“
The airport team have also been careful to roll-out Desk-Net progressively, gently expanding the user base and bringing in more departments and content creators.
Future plans include expanding to different types of media, as well as extending access to other departments. And the overall verdict?
We’re very happy with it. It’s fast and reliable.
Two qualities an airport can most certainly identify with.