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Regional daily’s owner to focus on ‘engagement, not circulation’

Peter SoetensA regional daily’s owner has vowed to focus on “engagement, not circulation” after announcing the launch of a new online content system.

Mediahuis, which owns the Belfast Telegraph, has announced it is introducing the use of new content management system CUE.

The Belgium-based publisher says the new system will allow its newsrooms to “present their quality journalism in a more engaging way and build long-term relationships with their readers”.

HTFP reported last week how the Bel Tel had been nominated with the Best News Website category at the European Digital Media Awards.

Editor-in-chief Eoin Brannigan credited a trend of recruiting specialist reporters for the nomination, adding a new online paywall launched by the newspaper had recorded 4,100 subscribers in a year.

In a statement announcing the introduction of the new system, Mediahuis said: “For Mediahuis, the main driver today is engagement, not circulation.

“Moving towards a ‘reader-first’ approach and developing long-term relationships in the digital world goes hand in hand with an increase in digital subscriptions.”

Mediahuis chief digital officer Peter Soetens, pictured, said: “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. We are looking forward to bring our digital and multichannel publishing to another level with CUE.”

Koen Vandaele, the company’s chief information officer, added: “Today we are attracting new subscribers with our content.

“Newsrooms are working closely with marketing people – attracting new users, bringing them to the funnel, and converting them to subscribers.

“CUE will help us drive our digital transformation forward and transform our workflows.”