As newsrooms have switched over to using Saxotech's MediaWare Center to produce their papers they have also learned how to best work and communicate with the Design Houses. Whether you've already launched and are looking for some tips and reminders or are awaiting your launch and would like a heads up as to some things you should watch out for, this list should be helpful.
1) The name of your article must match the name you list on the Note to Design House (NTDH). This often is not the case and causes problems/slows things down when designers are looking for your copy (they search by article channel).
2) You must add the page number to the story package when you know what page the article/stand alone photo is going on. You can do this even after you've advanced the item to the Design House. Adding the page allows the designer to sort for copy by page. Otherwise, they have to look for it in a more time-consuming way.
3) The category for your NTDH must be Note to Design House (at the top of your pull down menu list and instead of MA-News, CO-Sports etc).
4) Everything must live in a story package. Do not have loose articles unassigned to a story package. The story package is how you communicate page number and priority.
5) ALWAYS make a copy of every article before advancing it to the Design House. Not only might you need it for posting online or reusing, but the Design House sometimes needs the original because their version got corrupted.
6) The copy name ends in _print. That's the one you send to the Design House. You keep the original.
7) Be mindful of headline writing for your offlead story. You know it's going to be one column (almost 10 picas) wide, so don't include long words. Otherwise, expect a phone call to help rewrite it.
8) Indicate, if possible, on your NTDH whether a page is CMYK. The designers only know by looking at the ads and if the ads aren't in yet, they don't know.
9) Be mindful of captions. Designers are often seeing "raw" captions, perhaps the originals provided by photographers. The caption that's linked to the article is the one that will appear in the paper. Be sure it says what you want it to say in the paper.
10) Be sure your NTDH includes the pub name, pub date, editor name and contact (office and cell), volume and page numbers.
11) On your NTDH, it's very helpful to designers if you indicate next to A1 which pages will be the jumps. e.g. "A1 (jumps to A5, A6)", in addition to saying which page the specific article jumps to
12) If you want a photo to be played up as the dominant art, in addition to indicating that on your NTDH, you should drag and drop the photo in the list of linked photos under the article so it's the first one in the list.
13) On your Note, it's best to make each "action item" a separate line. That way, designers can easily check them off and not miss a step.
14) When applying the style Number to Know … the numbers after mean how many characters. So "number to know 1" means it has one character. "Number to know 2" means two characters, such as 15. It doesn't mean it makes a 1 and a 2.
15) If you have an Only Online and want something teased beyond using the logo, you must provide the text as a fact box linked to the article and also advanced "To Design House"
You can also find the Saxotech handbook and some training videos here.
Newsroom folks aren't really sure what the Design House sees in the MediaWare Center. It's actually very similar to what the newsrooms see, with the addition of a "layout" view of pages that open using InDesign.