THE clock on the iPhone is ticking towards half-past eight. A couple of hours have already been spent scrolling through social media and news websites, sending emails and formulating a plan for the week ahead.

With one call, the narrative for the coming days was set. The conversation only lasted three minutes but it was the first, and most important, communication of what turned out to be a hectic day at the office.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst had been informed hours earlier than he had been sacked as Rangers manager. News that seismic often travels quickly and the morning after the night before saw a respected contact set the wheels in motion for The Herald to lead the way on Monday.

Given the source of the information, there was no reason to doubt its accuracy, but a second confirmation was needed for peace of mind if nothing else. Calls were made and emails and WhatsApp messages were sent to a handful of people in an attempt to stand up the story that others would undoubtedly be working on.

Less than an hour later, a message was followed by a phone call. Thankfully, that time had been spent writing up around 400 words that could go online in the event that the green light was given.

A brief conversation to confirm that Van Bronckhorst was indeed gone preceded a quick scan of the hastily written copy. Once a picture had been selected and headline inserted, the only thing left to do was push the publish button as the story was sent across the Herald and Times websites.

Breaking news like that must be shared to maximise its impact and Twitter and Facebook are the avenues for that viral process. As our story gathered hits at a rapid rate, it became clear that word on Van Bronckhorst was widespread as other respected writers and titles went live with their versions.

Any story is only exclusive once. The traffic numbers told of how important it was to be first with the top line but attention quickly turns to reaction as picture pieces and furniture – such as key games, timelines and memorable quotes – are sent to keep the website fresh for readers.

Thousands of words had already been written by that stage on Van Bronckhorst’s inevitable decline and one final analysis had to be penned. It was farewell to an ultimately unsuccessful manager but an undoubtedly fine man who will hopefully return to the game soon.

The question of who the new boss will be is always the first one asked by colleagues, friends and family. That story would become the next one chase as writers across the country started a now familiar process.

That would lead to other long days later in the week. As always, though, it was all worth it in the end.