Timing

Publications can take much longer to produce than most people realize, and you should contact the communications office at least three months in advance of the desired delivery date for most publications.

Planning your publication

Decide the purpose of and audience for your publication before you call us. If you want a reprint of a previous publication, decide which elements, if any, should be changed before reprinting.

Things to consider include:

  1. Why is this piece needed?
  2. Who will read it?
  3. Will it be sent by itself or with other publications?
  4. What information must be included?
  5. What else would I like to include if space allows?
  6. What do I want the readers to do as a result of reading this piece?
  7. How many copies do I need?
  8. When will it need to be reprinted?
  9. Will photographs need to be taken or other artwork produced?
  10. Who should write the text?
  11. Should the publication be a particular size or shape? (For example, must it fit in a business-size envelope, be a self-mailer or be the same size as other publications with which it will be used?)
  12. Do I have money in my budget or elsewhere to pay for it?
  13. When and where do I want the finished publication delivered?
  14. How will this information be shared on my website?

Production process

Generally speaking, these are the major steps that all publications go through:

  1. Planning meeting is held
  2. Text is written and copy edited
  3. You review the manuscript
  4. Publication design is created and text is laid out
  5. Photographs and illustrations are added
  6. You review proof of design, which indicates how text and art will appear on each page
  7. Publication is sent for printing
  8. Finished publications are delivered to you

Writing and proofing

Writing may be done by our staff or yours. If we do the writing, your help is still needed to define the proper tone, gather background information and choose suitable people to interview. If your office writes the text, please fact-check every detail for accuracy. Refer to the online Missouri S&T Style Guide for the proper punctuation, capitalization and other mechanics of style that should be followed in all university publications. Then send us the final text, preferably in Microsoft Word.

Copy editing and proofreading: All copy (text) is reviewed by our staff editor for consistency, accuracy and conformation to college style. Minor rewriting or reorganizing may be done to improve the clarity and readability of the material, but no extensive changes will be made without your knowledge. All publications this office produces must conform to the university's style guidelines. At each stage of production, our office will check proofs for text and design errors. The final responsibility for accuracy, however, rests with your office.

Approving your publication

You will examine and approve your publication twice during production, once for content and once for design and layout.

Content/text approval: You will be asked to approve the copy-edited manuscript. This is the last time that changes are relatively easy to make, so examine the copy in detail for errors and be sure you are happy with the content and "tone" of the piece. If the content of the client's publication must be approved by several people, those approvals should be in place before the copy is returned to the communications department. Work will not begin on a client's publication design until the final copy is in hand.
Design/layout approval: During the proofing process, client may review and provide corrections to up to three design proofs/revisions of the publication. Once the publications office receives project revisions from client, a revised proof will be given back to client for another review and approval. After this stage, it is not possible to make changes except in an emergency, so you should examine this proof carefully.

Deadlines

Because we work on many publications simultaneously, meeting approval deadlines is important. A day's delay in approval can throw a tight production schedule as much as one week behind. Any changes consume staff time, which may delay your publication. Also, the cost of making changes and the chance of delivery being delayed by changes increase substantially as production progresses, so make changes early.