Digital makeover boosts Berlingske Media
The daily Berlingske and the popular newspaper BT: at the beginning of 2018, both titles of the Danish Berlingske Media performed below market level. “We realised that it was time for action,” explains An Fogelgren, Chief Information Officer at Berlingske Media.
“Only a radical strategy could get us out of this difficult situation. It quickly became clear that we had to make some digital efforts. This would allow us to keep up again with our local competitors. We also knew that we had to act quickly. Otherwise we would lose even more ground.”
New platform for web, app & social
Berlingske Media changed all of its web, social media and app platforms, using the same structure for all titles. This enabled the company to quickly proceed with the transformation. The result was a digital coherence between all titles.
“We opted for a modular solution,” continues An Fogelgren. “Ever since, content is offered in blocks. This allows us for instance to publish breaking news much faster through all our brands and digital channels. We are also simplifying the interface of our digital channels, both for our collaborators, who can now upload and publish news more quickly, as for our readers, who can find and read news more easily and intuitively. Our editorial content is now more conspicuous and reaches the readership more quickly.”
“Our new digital platform will consistently guarantee both key news features: speed and quality.”
An Fogelgren, Chief Information Officer at Berlingske Media
CEO on the work floor
During this digital catch-up operation, we also took the opportunity to develop a new visual style. The layout and design of the titles underwent an equal or even greater innovation. The newspapers became fresher, younger and more contemporary.
An Fogelgren: “Standing still is moving backwards. This is twice as true in the media world. Our quality title Berlingske underwent the most significant innovation.”
A major makeover such as this one requires an executive management that knows how to tackle things. After outlining the overall media strategy and developing the digital platform, the visual metamorphosis was carried out title after title.
“We started with BT and first finished all innovations for this title,“ explains Ann Fogelgren. “We did not allow ourselves to fall in the trap of wanting to do everything at the same time. This would cause chaos. Our management worked day and night on the subject, everybody acted together with the same determination. I still remember the various moments when our CEO was busy on the work floor communicating face to face with the developers about the makeover. Decisions were often made on the spot and carried out right away. Everything went very smoothly, consistently and quickly.”
BT was completely renewed just before the summer of 2018. Since then, the pageviews of this title have increased significantly. The digital newspaper reaches a much larger audience than ever before. And now its competitiveness has totally reached the target level. Today, about half a year after the makeover, the other titles of Berlingske Media also perform better than ever.
Digital and print reinforce each other
“We opted for a mobile first approach. More people than ever consume news on their smartphone or tablet: at home, on the road, anywhere. We will certainly carry on along this road in the next years,” emphasises An Fogelgren. “Besides the speed, the quality of our news publications also remains of utmost importance. Our new digital platform will consistently guarantee both key features of news: speed and quality.”
“The future? In 2019 and 2020, we want to focus even more on video through our digital channels. Besides this, I am absolutely convinced that print will not disappear shortly. On the contrary: digital and print reinforce each other. And it will remain like this for a long time. Also at Berlingske Media.”