In honor of one of Reader's Digest's most enduring features, "It Pays to Increase Your Word Power," PrintMedia offers the following quiz (the answer is below):
For the better part of a century, Reader's Digest has wended its way into homes and communities across the globe. Like the magazine's "It Pays to Increase Your Word Power," it pays for the production staff at Reader's Digest Association, the magazine's parent company, to coadjute (answer: D. cooperate). In addition to producing 48 editions of the magazine in 19 languages and selling it in more than 60 countries, the company also produces a sundry of do-it-yourself books; Select Editions; children's books; Young Families products; recorded music collections; home videos; and special interest magazines, including Selecciones, The Family Handyman, American Woodworker, New Choices, Moneywise and Benchmark. So, it is not an overstatement to say that cooperation and communication is paramount to the company's success.
Around the world in 80 seconds
The task of coordinating efforts across a span of offices around the globe is certainly no small one and requires a reliance upon a variety of technologies. According to Laura Capasso, associate director of global publishing technology, "Our initiatives to streamline production and enhance the collaborative process reach all of our worldwide teams. Original content is produced in several countries, and made available to over 1,500 creative and production desktops in the 23 countries in which Reader's Digest Association publishes."
As it has grown, the company has shifted to a Mac-based publishing platform. Capasso says a standard communication infrastructure is also important to the publisher's efforts. "Part of the challenge is because we're in so many offices we have to establish guidelines and standards," she notes. "A lot of that is writing documents about how to create files, so they're easily adapted. We use standard fonts, etc., so there's not a whole lot of surprises when the file is opened." The company's core applications include QuarkXpress and QuarkXpress Passport for layout, and Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for creative. "Global site licensing for software applications allows Reader's Digest Association to reduce licensing costs by better managing seat counts and taking advantage of volume discounts," reports Capasso. "This worldwide desktop software distribution allows us to manage software upgrades on a global basis and increase the stability of desktops through a standard software build."