The Roman Catholic Parish Community of Aargau publishes its parish journal "Horizonte" every two weeks with a total circulation of over 100,000 copies — and has done so for more than 40 years. In the parish gazette, the community can find out about activities in roughly 120 parishes, as well as news from the church in Switzerland and worldwide.

The editorial team consists of around 50 people from different parishes. The group started looking for a new editorial system because the solution at that time had reached the end of its lifecycle and was no longer up-to-date. They wanted a solution that would simplify their work, automate repetitive tasks, and enable a 1:1 preview of the article, page, and complete edition. To achieve those goals, gateB implemented a new content management solution (CMS). The solution has been in operation in the canton of Aargau since September 2020. If other cantons decide to implement this CMS, they will benefit from the work that has already been done in Aargau.

Implementation of the CMS

Together with gateB, the association in the canton of Aargau implemented a state-of-the-art CMS for the publication of not just the parish gazette, but also selected content on the association's and the parishes' websites. With the editorial system, the parish gazette can be efficiently planned, content can be easily entered, and the entire edition can be compiled at the click of a button. The events and dates entered in the system are also automatically updated on the “Horizonte” website and on all parish websites, so that the data maintenance does not have to take place in multiple places or repeatedly.

1:1 preview of the complete edition at the click of a button

The parish gazette consists of a cover section and sample pages for the various parishes. For the cover section, the title page, foreword, and masthead are already predefined for each issue. From there, a selection of layouts is available for the additional pages.

The editors from the parishes access the templates provided for them for the parish news and for the church service calendar and fill in their content. Then, they can use the preview function to view their article, the page on which the article is published, or even the current status of the entire parish gazette. In the background, the system automatically merges the contents of the various parishes on the basis of predefined sample pages. For example, it automatically sorts church services by date. Content that needs to appear in several editions can also be retrieved and integrated at the click of a button.

Easily adding, editing, and managing content

The editors have access to an interface for editing the title, lead, scrolling text, and caption. This editorial interface includes an integrated spell checker, "search and replace" functions, and automatic image quality checks. If several people are working on an article or on a page, questions or comments can be communicated directly in the system via chat and changes can be easily tracked. Once an editor of the cover section has finished filling in content, proofreading can take place right in the system, as can microtypography (by the print shop).

The new CMS simplifies the work of editors by automating repetitive tasks and allowing a 1:1 preview of articles, pages, and the entire issue.

Today, we have a future-oriented software solution to efficiently handle the editorial tasks relating to the parish gazettes of the cantons of Aargau and Zug and — where appropriate and possible — to automate them. We used the implementation of the new editorial system to modernize the layout of the parish gazette “Horizonte” and to improve readability for our community. With gateB, we had an experienced partner at our side who optimally supported us from the selection of the software to the solution design and implementation.

Werner Weibel, the church's project manager

Key advantages at a glance

  • One-time recording of recurring church services — and their proper publication period — for the gazette and websites

  • Easy reactivation or reuse of older versions of content and previously published articles 

  • 1:1 preview of articles, pages, and the full edition

  • Easy archiving and retrieval of images

  • Image upload functionality with automatic image conversion and quality check

  • Guaranteed import interface to other systems

  • Multiple step-forward or step-backward functions to easily undo entries and restore old versions

  • Easy publication of articles in multiple issues via dropdown and multiple selection

  • High-performance search across multiple issues

User-friendly implementation

The CMS was implemented in close coordination with the association. First, the existing production processes were analyzed in workshops, taking into account all responsibilities (layout, editing, proofreading, printing) in order to understand which processes and tasks could gain efficiency — or even be automated — with the new system. Then, there was a demo, including training, so that the team could get a feel for the system and test for themselves whether the platform could meet their requirements. This was followed by step-by-step implementation, starting with the planning of the layout to compile the output using templates, through the configuration of text and picture boxes, to setting up work processes for project management, communication, and the storage of roles and rights.

After the implementation, the entire team was trained in just half a day. When creating new issues of the gazette, the team can still rely on gateB support.