How a Business News Team Simplified Its Complex Workflow and Got More Organized Than Ever
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
RingCentral has become my own ‘don’t-forget-about-this’ app.
Managing a daily news and lifestyle publication in any city can be a difficult juggling act. But delivering just the right content every day to a bustling tourist destination that serves millions of visitors each year can be an enormous challenge.
Yet that’s the task of LakeExpo.com, the daily news site covering Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, which USA Today has rated “The Best Recreational Lake in the Country.” When their small team of home-based editors and writers could no longer collaborate effectively using emails and texts, Editor-in-Chief Nathan Bechtold started looking for a way to manage all of the team’s workflow, story ideas, editorial planning, task management, and communications in a single app.
As a news service literally under deadline every day, this editorial team needed a simpler and more efficient way of communicating than email
Even when LakeExpo.com was still a very small operation—with Publisher Brent Simpson and Editor-in-Chief Nathan Bechtold handling most of the day-to-day responsibilities themselves—they were already finding it inefficient and frustrating to work over email and text messages.
“We had no centralized place to keep track of our work,” Bechtold says. “We just emailed or texted everything work-related to each other, even our thoughts and ideas about the site. But how do you organize that information? And how easy will it be to go back and find it later?”
The problem only got worse as their editorial team grew and Bechtold and Simpson expanded LakeExpo.com’s audience into St. Louis, Kansas City, and even into parts of Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.
“We just couldn’t keep track of all of the press releases, news tips, and other information coming in all the time, not to mention all of the internal threads our team had to send each other to get their work done.”
Bechtold searches for a unified collaboration workspace
“I wanted to put everything in a single place,” Bechtold explains. “Chats, file sharing, task management, editorial calendar planning. All of it.”
During his research, Bechtold found a business article with a list of a magazine’s favorite online collaboration apps. “The RingCentral app was on the list,” he says, “So we gave it a try. Once we got rolling with RingCentral, we fell in love with the app.”
The RingCentral app gave Bechtold exactly what he was looking for, a unified workspace that his entire team of remote workers could use to collaborate and communicate efficiently. “We create teams in the app to work on projects that just those people are involved in,” he says. “I can create a task—say, a story I’d like someone to write—and then drop in the relevant information, ask a writer if she’d like to take it on, and then communicate with her over the RingCentral app throughout the entire project. When we’re done and the story is ready for publication, I can mark that task complete.”
Because the team’s workflow is so much more streamlined now than it’s ever been, the RingCentral app has helped Bechtold accomplish something with the publication he didn’t think was possible. “I now have my top stories scheduled out weeks in advance. That’s a level of planning we weren’t ever able to enjoy before the RingCentral app.”
Now I tell everyone on my team, ‘Don’t send me anything unless it’s through the RingCentral app.
The benefits go even beyond better organization and communication
Using the RingCentral app has done a lot for LakeExpo.com. “I can track everything that’s happening with my team and stay on top of every detail I need to remember,” Bechtold says. “RingCentral has become my own ‘don’t-forget-about-this’ app.” But now that the entire organization is using RingCentral, LakeExpo.com is discovering other ways the collaboration app is benefiting the company.”
“RingCentral is even helping us to strengthen relationships with our advertising customers,” explains Bechtold. “If a writer learns a new business is setting up shop on the Lake, she can let our sales reps know, so they can give a heads-up to one of our advertisers who might be able to serve that business. That type of valuable, real-time communication is so much easier now, which makes it much more likely to happen because our whole internal team is on the RingCentral app.”