One of the major business benefits of adopting structured content is the ability to deliver the same content to multiple outputs from a single source of truth.

When you manage content as building blocks of information rather than as full documents, you can assemble those building blocks in many different ways and create many different outputs. You can automate much of this information assembly, formatting, and delivery. You can also deliver blocks of information directly to other systems without a formatting or publishing step in the middle.

With structured content, you can:

  • Provide the same contraindication description to electronic drug labels submitted with the eCTD, printed leaflets included in the packaging, and mobile apps that guide decisions at the point of care — all from a single source of truth
  • Automatically include additional information about the contraindication in the eCTD submission while excluding it from the mobile app
  • Translate contraindication descriptions for use in regional labels without translating the additional information that is not necessary for those regional outputs

Single-source publishing to multiple outputs, also known as “multi-channel publishing” or “omni-channel publishing,” has been a mainstay of other industries for decades. It is one of the key applications of a content reuse and automation strategy.

In pharma, some digital marketing teams have embraced multi-channel publishing as a way to meet regulatory requirements and provide the content they are responsible for. Now that the industry is looking to modernize how they manage content throughout the enterprise, single-source publishing is becoming a business objective in other areas of the organization.

The keys to successful single-source publishing to multiple outputs are:

  1. Develop content standards. (Ideally, you’ll standardize your content in all five dimensions to ensure that the content makes sense everywhere it is published, in every context.)
  2. Adopt a component-based structured content management system that separates content from format. This system enables you to publish your content to any output format you need to deliver, now and into the future.
  3. Train your content creators to write with reuse and automation in mind.

One of the unique aspects of pharma content is that much of the content reuse can be planned ahead of time. Rather than having authors manually add reused content in every case, pharma companies have the opportunity to program the content reuse into their authoring environment at the start.

That holds true for other types of automation as well. Once we know what information an output requires, we can configure the system to provide that information automatically. For content where human intervention is necessary, such as for ad-hoc publishing or certain approval cycles, we can build that input into the workflows to streamline the process.

The result is agile, efficient delivery of the right content to the right place at the right time in the right language and format.

Content Rules, Inc. is one of the oldest and most established content strategy firms in the industry. Our content transformation methodology has been proven in life sciences over the past 20 years. Our content strategists are experienced with the unique challenges of pharma content, as well as the common content challenges that all enterprises face. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you solve your content challenges.

Regina Lynn Preciado