Google As A Productivity Tool for Publishers

That the news media and magazine publishers have a love-hate relationship with Google is no secret. But Google has and is, continuing to show a lot of love for news media. And Google offers a lot of powerful tools that can play a key role in reducing newsroom and editorial costs in terms of research and workflow. Here we take a look at using Google products in the editorial process. Just to note, we are not resellers of any Google services. We are and will remain, vendor agnostic.
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GSuite & Google Tools for Productivity
Google’s GSuite products include email, word processing, spreadsheets, calendar and presentation software as the basic elements. Pricing ranges between $5-10 per month per user, with enterprise options for larger accounts. You also get Google’s cloud storage service, Google Drive and access to other apps like Google Keep, a note-taking tool and of course Google+, which does have some advantages.
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While you’ll still likely want Microsoft Office products for Excel and the powerful editing tools of Word, you may be able to limit licenses and reduce hardware costs as well with Google.
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GSuite also has a lot of integrations with tools like Slack, Trello, Salesforce, PipeDrive and many others. They are incredibly easy to set up and manage. The ongoing cost to manage GSuite is very low, about 70% less cost than administering Microsoft Office licenses from E1 to E3. In addition, you don’t have to worry about installing apps on staff computers or smartphones and Google offers some powerful, easy to use tools to administer security and user controls
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Bringing in Google Hardware
Google also has a line of laptops called Chrome Books. For most editorial functions, this is sufficient. You don’t have to always be connected to WiFi to use apps like Docs or Spreadsheets either. Costs for these laptops can be as low as $300 and range upwards.
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The benefits are lower hardware costs, easier use, far less time and cost for administering whether you have IT support in-house or use a service provider. The same apps will work with smartphones as well, whether they are company provided or not. Syncing of all files and access to Google Drive is easy and fast.
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Journalists and Google
Google is investing a lot into newsrooms and editorial functions. They have News Initiative which provides free courses on using Google products (yes, it is self-serving, but also useful) and a fellowship program for journalism students around the world. Then there’s Google News Lab, where they’re looking to collaborate more deeply with journalists on data journalism, building trust and fact verification and more immersive storytelling.
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They offer some interesting ways to engage with news rooms.
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Google Can Be Cost Effective
At the end of the day, Google and it’s GSuite products offer a very cost effective option for publishers from newspapers to magazines to book publishers. Ease of use, low-cost on software and hardware and significantly lower cost of ongoing management.
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We’ve helped a couple of magazines and newspapers move to the GSuite environment and the response has always been at how fast things came together. The biggest revelation was how it impacted workflow in such a positive and easy way. One publication we worked with was paying $240,000 a year for various software licenses, by bringing in GSuite and Chrome Books we brought that cost down to $75,000 a year and reduced their IT outsourcing costs by $30,000 a year. They re-invested a good portion of that back into editorial.
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GSuite and Google may not be right for publisher. We’ve had a couple of cases where we’ve recommended sticking with Office365 from Microsoft or other platforms because it made business sense. There are other cloud-based solutions out there as well such as Backstage Hosting, which is especially good for privacy and if you’re in Canada and want to ensure data privacy.
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But for workflow, lower costs and ease of use, GSuite and Googles’ other products, it is an amazing option for most publishers. This is especially so for smaller publications.

About the Author Giles W. Crouch

Giles Crouch is a design anthropologist and CDO/CIO. He spent over 20 years in globally-focussed marketing communications for technology products and services, but his roots are anthropology in a modern sense. He uniquely ties his deep knowledge of technology, marketing, design thinking and design anthropology as a polymath to help clients seeking digital advantage in today’s complex world. Giles has been regularly interviewed by international news media on topics such as social media, blockchain, artificial intelligence and it’s impacts on society. He is a passionate practitioner of design thinking and anthropology. Giles is prolific writer and public speaker, lecturer and keynote. He has also completed over 250 netnographic research projects since 2009. His secondary activity is as Group Publisher with Human Media Inc.

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