Keep up or be left behind: That’s the thought process at the center of digital transformation strategies in newsrooms around the world. A scalable media company knows it must grow and change with its consumers, adapting to the latest way people are sharing and telling stories. European media company Mediahuis knows that.
Ezra Eeman, Mediahuis’ change director, is one of the leaders in the company’s digital transformation strategy. “In order to stay relevant, we have to meet the expectations of our consumers, of our readers in new ways,” he said.
Mediahuis is a leading publishing group that operates in four countries and has more than 30 news brands. Since it was founded in 2014, the publisher has already expanded more than four times its initial size, reaching more than 10 million readers daily and 1.7 million subscribers. To maintain its exponential growth, Mediahuis established a multi-year digital transformation plan with a list of goals to accomplish by 2025.
Maintaining a customer-centric strategy
One of the most important aspects of the plan is keeping customers at the center of the work the company produces. Peter Soetens, chief digital officer, said Mediahuis is prioritising engagement over circulation:
“The media industry has been product-driven for ages, but now we are delivering a service instead of a product. And the service starts with the consumers’ needs,” he said.
As part of that mission, Mediahuis wants to make sure it provides customers with the best possible mobile and audio experiences. It also is working to be efficient in its newsrooms and maintain a successful print model even as the digital world continues to expand.
As part of that model, Mediahuis designed a publishing suite called The Hub that is a collection of services “tailored and used by all news brands to create, publish, and monetise content,” Eeman said.
One of the first steps in meeting that reader-first initiative was choosing a fully integrated content management system for all its brands. Mediahuis said Stibo DX’s CUE publishing platform was at the top of its list when it came to choosing a solution to fit the company’s growing digital and technological needs.
CUE allows the company to move toward a more consolidated landscape in the future. With common standards and best practices, it makes sharing assets across Mediahuis’ 30 brands much simpler. The company said it wants brands that readers can depend on. “Reliable and independent journalism is at the heart of our organisation. It’s what drives us forth and motivates us every day,” Eeman said.
Creating digital and mobile-first workflows
Over time, CUE will manage all Mediahuis’ Web sites and news apps. Eeman says Mediahuis chose the publishing platform because they wanted true digital and mobile-first workflows that created full responsive Web experiences for readers. The company wanted a solution that would streamline workflows for its journalists but also be customisable enough to support the uniqueness of its diverse brands.
And, because CUE is designed for unlimited scalability, Mediahuis will be able to quickly launch new products and add new channels as needed. Such future-proofing means that as its business grows and changes, new tools and systems can be easily integrated to support that growth.