How SRF Enable All Editorial Teams to Publish Social Media Content
SRF or “Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen” ("Swiss Radio and Television") is a Swiss broadcasting company for Swiss Radio and Television. It is Switzerland’s largest electronic media house and as SRG SSR's largest enterprise unit, SRF is firmly anchored in Swiss society and serves the public with a wide range of high-quality programs aimed at the entire population of German-speaking Switzerland.
Talking to Daniel Fischer (Head of Digital Design) and Jasmin Frischknecht (Project Manager & Design) from SRF, we want to know more about their Templating use case specifically and how they’ve implemented Frontify across the company since the very start of our collaboration back in 2018. Today, they’ve scaled their usage to provide full cross-team enablement using a central template system for all their social media content creation which has seen significant growth over the last years.
Using the Frontify Digital & Print Templates
Digital & Print Templates allows different editorial teams at SRF to produce their own visual social media content, autonomously, regardless of their individual tool ecosystem, installed applications, or skillset. To enable this, the Product Design team at SRF can now adapt existing templates or create new ones with immediately and so ensure consistent branding is always maintained throughout the organization.
Looking at SRF’s use case utilizing Frontify’s SaaS platform to improve the way they work – both collaboratively and monetarily – the Digital & Print Templates product has been a real a game-changer for their Digital Design team.
Let’s now dive a little deeper into SRF’s usage of the platform to see what their use case looks like.
What does the digital department at SRF look like?
The SRF Digital Design Team is responsible for our consistent design look across all digital channels, including web and social. We work closely with our digital product unit, using Scrum, and follow a principle of personal/team responsibilities with flat hierarchies. In a large matrix organization, with many departments and teams that are organized differently, we stand for and promote an iterative design approach. Our product design team enables up to 200 social media content creators in different editorial teams such as Weather, Radio Channels, Sport, News, Culture, and the central media channel, SRF. As a result, most editorial teams are now actively publishing social media content on their own with the help of Frontify.
How do you unite different editorial teams, owning different digital channels, with one brand design?
The product design team provides editorial teams with the latest design templates to enable them in creating content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
On top of that, we have corporate design guidelines, specific templates for text, image, and video content, and ensure consistent branding throughout – by unifying the use of branded elements like logo, font, and color swatches.
What have been the biggest challenges in publishing social media content?
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube are always evolving, so for us, the main three challenges have been:
- Keeping a balance between offering flexible templates that allow editorial teams to produce engaging content, all while ensuring brand consistency. We applied a rather restrictive approach in terms of how they can edit the templates, to ensure on-brand content. This seems to be the best way to enable non-designers while retaining and protecting the look and feel of our social media channels.
- Keeping track of the latest trends and new features, while incorporating them into consistent and visually appealing templates. This is truly an ongoing process.
- New algorithms, or social platform redesigns change the way content is presented and perceived by our users in two different ways. On the one hand, there are always new formats that we must adhere to. And on the other hand, there are multiple devices that we must take into account when cropping images and videos. For example, new formats of social posts are required to support specific mobile devices where image handling works differently.
How does Digital & Print Templates help you publish social media content?
Digital & Print Templates has enabled everyone, regardless of their editorial team, to produce new content independently – irrespective of their technical setup, installed applications, and design skillset.
At the same time, we can adapt and evolve our templates easily with immediate effect and therefore ensure a consistent branding across all channels and touchpoints. Before using Frontify, it was a real struggle to update all existing Photoshop templates and ensure wider adoption. Template updates have become a lot easier with this new setup and enabled us to scale more efficiently.
Which types of content do you publish with Digital & Print Templates?
We offer various image/text compositions that can be used to create content for feeds, stories, or video thumbnails. Below is an example of a thumbnail image of a social media post in the 16:9 format.
Tell us more about the SRF Sport example which has been an incredible success, no?
Absolutely, SRF Sport is one of our most active brands when it comes to Digital & Print Templates and the number of publications it generates. SRF Sport actually went through a major rebrand in early 2022 in which all the design elements were completely redesigned to offer a stronger, more digitally pleasing visual identity more in touch with the viewers emotions. And for that particular sub-brand, we’ve built 49 individual templates so far. All of them are built in InDesign and Sketch and can be easily and seamlessly replaced which thankfully was also the case just after the rebrand. This makes the whole maintenance process a lot easier and set-up more scalable.
How does your template setup look like? How many template types do you have in place?
In average, we have around 25 different templates across 7 different brands including the SRF mother brand. This adds up to almost 180 single templates across all brands. And this figure is expected to continue to grow over time.
To give you an order of scope, in July 2022 alone, there were 1'669 publications created across the organization. This is an incredibly high number and highlights the scope of usage, activity around new content creation and the sheer level of enablement achieved across teams. To put this into perspective, in May 2020, this figure was closer to 750.
If you could wish for one upcoming feature in Frontify, what would it be?
We have a strong mobile-first focus. A mobile version of the Digital & Print Templates would allow our creators to go all mobile and produce content on the road or at venues like music festivals, ski races, or any other event.
To Recap in a Nutshell
For SRF, Digital & Digital Templates have helped to:
- Enable their large teams of content creators
- Adapt to an ever-changing social media environment
- Ensure brand consistency throughout their various social media channels while still able to grow
Our Journey Continues
At Frontify, we continously strive towards improving our product suite. And the journey with SRF has been an exciting one from day one. Their strong Digital & Print Templates use case has made Frontify a valuable platform for all their brands giving the Digital Design team the central platform and control workflow needed to enable more users to create content while still ensuring brand consistency across their brand ecosystem.
Our recently published TEI touches on this ability to enable organizations to scale their content production while still saving precious time for all parties especially the end-user. This in turn alleviates the Digital Design team’s task backlog and reduces their need for active involvement, as they can now focus on other topics without losing control of what is being produced, approved, and published. In other words, this is a win-win for everyone involved, resulting in significant efficiency gains and productivity all-round.
It is safe to say, that our collaboration with SRF has been an exciting one from the start and we look forward to many more successful years of partnership ahead.