Print Publishing Organization Structure

The Organizational Design of a Print Publishing Company: Definitions, Roles & Responsibilities

Print Publishing Organization Chart & Structure

Print Publishing Organizational Structure Outline & Definitions

Print Publishing Organization Chart Template

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Print Publishing

A print publishing company is typically known for publishing any literary piece of work such as newspapers, novels, educational books, magazines, or journals in a hardcopy format so as to distribute such pieces to the public. With the advent of the Internet, however, the scope of publishing companies have expanded to include electronic resources such as the electronic versions of books and periodicals, as well as micropublishing, websites, blogs, video game publishers, etc. Activities carries out in a typical print publishing company include advertising sales, editorial tasks, production, managing editing, printing, circulation and web design and development. That said, while the activities of a typical print publishing company may be similar, taking written content from concept to production is either the collaborative task of multiple departments or the job of a single individual, depending on the available resources and the volume and diversity of the titles the company offers. Print publishing companies, furthermore, may have separate departments completing tasks unique to their business scope (e.g., newspaper companies have news collection and reporting while book publishers have the Acquisitions Department, etc.).

Common Print Publishing job titles: Editor-In-Chief, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Board of Directors

Advertising Sales

Advertising sales in publishing rely on knowledge of circulation and readership statistics, as well as negotiations about ad placement and page design (for print and online ads). Traditionally, subscriptions generate much of the revenue for magazines and newspapers, but the Internet has undermined the subscription model and increased the importance of print and online advertising. For online ads, sales may involve coordination with technical teams to accommodate specific client requests, as well as knowledge of the publishing company's web metrics such as page-views, click-through rates, and bounce-rates.

Common Advertising Sales job titles: Advertising Sales Executive, Advertising Account Representative, Advertising/Marketing Manager


The editorial team makes high-level executive decisions about what stories get published and what direction the content takes, while also conducting the day-to-day business of fact-checking, line-editing, etc. to ensure high quality materials (this includes making recommendations to the writer on issues such as context, consistency, etc.). Editorial staff members work closely with the authors of the stories being edited (journalists, book authors, etc.) and the company's Production Department to make sure that revisions are processed in a timely manner that will not jeopardize the release date of the publication.

Common Editorial job titles: Editorial Director, Editorial Project Manager, Associate Editor, Editor, Proofreader, Fact Checker, Copy Editor, News Editor


Whether a project is slated for release in hardcover, paperback or an electronic medium, its "look" must conform to the standards and specifications that have been set by the company for its existing publication mediums. In an earlier era, this involved complex typesetting equipment and printing presses. Today, the production division of a publishing company performs the layout, pagination and graphic design tasks on computer monitors and often works from text files submitted electronically by the authors themselves. Depending on the size of the publishing house, production is either done in-house or outsourced to third-party printing companies. Designers often work with freelance graphic artists, cover designers, photographers and modeling studios to complete the tasks performed by this function.

Common Production job titles: Production Manager, Photo Editor, Creative Director, Layout Designer, Illustrator, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Jacket Designer

Managing Editorial

The Managing Editorial Group is responsible for the overall operational, strategic and financial success of the company's publishing operations. This function works with both the editors and production teams to keep a close eye on the schedule, for both the finished publication and advanced materials such as ARCs that the sales or publicity departments might need in order to generate interest in the publications from booksellers, newsstands or the media. Employees within this function typically set content requirements, oversee publication date schedules, ensure that sales goals are met and develop budgets.

Common Managing Editorial job titles: Managing Editor, Copy Chief, Copy Editor, Fact Checker


The Printing Group is responsible for compiling copy edited manuscripts, placing them into standardized formats and then putting it on paper, or an electronic format (e-books), in preparation for distribution. Proofs (prototype publication pieces) are typically produced and given to authors, editors and proofreaders for review (such proofs may be uncut and unbound, or in some cases, electronically published) before full-scale printing. While proofs are created for proofreading and copyediting purposes, they may also be used for promotional purposes as well.

Common Printing job titles: Printing Manager, Print Operator, Digital Print Operator, Printing Technician


The Circulation Group is responsible for overseeing the distribution process of published content. Their primary tasks involve contacting and forming relationships with retailers and distributors, enacting marketing campaigns (to give consumers special prices on subscription rates), and developing publication budgets to ensure that such deals can, in fact, be made. Circulation managers typically work alone or with a small team within a publishing company, and report back to higher-level management.

Common Circulation job titles: Circulation Director, Circulation Manager, Subscription Manager, Fulfillment Manager

Web Design & Development

This group is responsible for developing and maintaining both the company's websites and online community. Such communities help bolster sales, increase product visibility and allow the company's customers to provide feedback. For print publishing companies (especially newspapers and magazines), a major driver of traffic from the web typically comes from a community of interested and opinionated website users. This is especially important since publishing companies use comment boards as well as numerous social media platforms to promote their publications and generate relationships with their customer base. Community moderators, therefore, are needed to help the most insightful comments gain visibility with voting and recommendation systems, as well as discourage the use of rancorous, ad hominem attacks. A well-run online community creates greater participation and click-throughs from its users and increases both the stature of the print publishing company and the products they sell.

Common Web Design & Development job titles: Marketing Communication Officer, Multimedia Specialist, Media Assistant, Digital Journalist