It used to be six degrees of separation, but are we now seamlessly connected?



With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we got thinking about relations, connections, links, partnerships – i.e. anything where one is joined to another in a seamless manner.


Many people will have heard the term ‘six degrees of separation’. It’s a theory that was first proposed in the late 1920s by a Hungarian writer, Frigyes Karinthy. It was tested 40 years later by an American sociologist, Stanley Milgram when he randomly selected people in the USA’s Mid-West. Milgram sent each of them packages with instructions about sending the packages to a stranger located hundreds of miles away in Massachusetts on the east coast.


The senders were given the recipient's name, occupation and general location and each of them was asked to send the package to a person they knew on a first-name basis who was most likely to know the recipient. That person would then do the same, and so on, and so on until the package was personally delivered to the intended recipient. Considering this was 1929, it amazingly took an average of between five and seven connections for each package to be delivered successfully.


Over the following decades, further experiments have been done to test the theory, however it was Facebook in 2016 that reported it had managed to reduce the chain length of its members to three-and-a-half degrees of separation, though that just doesn’t have the same ring to it!

That brings us on to the connections in the workplace and how those connections not only need to be seamless, but also involve the fewest possible ‘intermediaries’ in order for a task to be completed as efficiently as possible.


This concept is central to our technology. Our software is designed to facilitate efficiencies. When implementing new solutions, it can be very easy for publishers to adopt an ineffective replacement approach without realising it. Instead, PCS help publishers adopt a better management approach, working closely with them to help define a desired vision.


That vision will deliver positive transformation, which is fulfilled through the implementation of our technology. PCS takes time understanding and analysing customers current ways of working. We look at the connections that exist in systems and processes and make informed recommendations, based on the functionality of our technology. Ultimately, helping to implement change and deliver the desired efficiencies and growth opportunities publishers need to create.


A few months ago, we announced that a major magazine publisher had signed a three-year contract for Knowledge Publish, our editorial package. The solution will facilitate simple publishing to web, remote working, secure cloud-based asset storage and much more. The publisher has eight different online and print titles ranging from monthly to annual.


The previous workflow used physical job bags to pass the publications through the workflow, leading to challenges with traceability and duplication of effort. Content was stored in a basic folder structure on their server, making it difficult to locate and often resulting in multiple image transactions or re-writing material.


Or, there were far too many degrees of separation.

But, as the publisher’s Chief Content Editor, said: “We contacted PCS who took a consultative approach to our requirements. They assessed our workflow, spent a discovery day with our team then provided analysis and recommendations for gaining bespoke workflow and technology solution efficiencies. We were impressed when shown the functionality Knowledge Publish facilitates both for our internal team and the 100+ external contributors, who will be able to work remotely and have direct access to the system.”

Partnerships and improved methods of working boost productive and lower costs.


It’s that partnership approach that we strive to achieve when working with our customers. Take Scottish Provincial Press for example.


The publisher has taken on Knowledge Prospect, our ground-breaking advertising platform, Knowledge Publish and a light version of Knowledge Pulse, a browser-based advertising production tool for print and digital that allows ad bookings to be made, viewed and modified in Adobe InDesign.


SPP has 15 newspaper titles across the north and north-east of Scotland and also publishes many other specialist products, amongst which are a business magazine and numerous publications for the armed forces and tourism industry.


Its former Managing Director, Thelma Henderson, said: “We wanted to work with a supplier who fully understood our requirements and offered a partnership style relationship that would benefit us now and in the future. The Knowledge range of solutions look set to enhance our workflow and deliver the business efficiencies we are looking for.”

With Valentine’s Day approaching, efficiently connecting with your partner may not sound particularly romantic, but romance isn’t what PCS is about. We are however reliable and great at making efficient connections.


We have been innovating with publishers for 45 years and we think you’re never too old to learn new things, be flexible or adapt to a changing market. So, we would like to invite you for a coffee on us. We promise it's not a sales pitch, just a chance to introduce ourselves, learn more about you and an opportunity to share and discuss ideas.


To arrange a coffee date, all you have to do is call, email or if you prefer visit

www.pcs-publishing.com/coffee to complete a booking form.


Come and speak to us for a successful business relationship.

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