Productivity reports document travel efficiency, writing delivery
Considering today’s huge workloads, top management should be less inclined to question editorial staff performance. Clearly, double-duty job descriptions requiring creation of high-quality content for magazines and websites are pushing editors to new limits. If anything, top brass must be more tuned in to the possibility that productivity breaking points may already have been reached.
Meanwhile, editorial managers also should be monitoring efficiency. This requires documentation in the form of quantitative reports. Information derived is useful for internal supervision purposes. Two areas of efficiency worth tracking are editorial travel and pages written per editor. Most B2B editors apparently may not have much of a travel budget these days. In fact, even before the current economic situation, some staffs were always chained to their desks. The point is that even more than in the past, editorial managers must prove that every dollar devoted to field trips is well spent.
Information for travel performance analysis can be pulled from properly-constructed editorial expense vouchers. Quarterly reports should show total travel days as well as average days per month per editor. There is a separate calculation along the above lines for the editor-in-chief. This tabulation indicates the degree to which travel is a staff-wide activity.
Another calculation should break down travel days in terms of grass roots visits as opposed to industry conventions. Next, there is a “city spread” consideration. Sometimes you discover that on the surface an editorial staff engages in extensive travel; however, such travel actually takes in a limited number of cities. Lastly, your editorial expense vouchers must provide space for staff to itemize the number of editorial pages or website reports generated via field work.
Pages written per editor also could be documented on a quarterly basis, even if you have just one staff member reporting to you. If you believe in byline acknowledgement, it’s easy to identify who wrote what. In order for this report to have meaning, you need pre-established expectations for the quantity of feature material per month from each staff member. You also need specific standards pertaining to website content delivery. The number of hours spent per week per staff engaged in website updates is bound to multiply as emphasis on original content increases. Ability to translate this activity into pages per day per editor will become a necessity.