Transforming a Media Organisation from Analogue to Digital

The Context

A leading News Agency supplying news to over 700 news outlets globally required support to transform its operations and technology to cater for world in which text was declining and requirements for photos and video were growing and at the same time migrating from analogue to digital content to cater for new platforms. 

The Client Aims 

The News Agency had customer and market focused aims which meant that it needed: 

  1. A Case for Change signed off by the Board: 
  2. Clarity about market requirements for Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America 
  3. Clarity about their current competitive position in each region 
  4. An analysis of the current position and required future state for technology for news gathering, production, content management, product portfolio and pricing 
  5. An organisational analysis by region of matrix managed functional team alignment with market requirements  
  6. A well-managed transformation project resulting in the retention of clients and acquisition of new clients through focusing on workstreams by region covering: 
  7. Strategic development and operational planning by region 
  8. Technology – news gathering and production
  9. Content, Product, and Pricing 
  10. Sales force effectiveness 
  11. Marketing  
  12. Financial control 
  13. Organisational change through new role development, internal communications, training and supported alignment of people to new roles 

 The Change and Transformation Service Engaged 

The Client engaged Mirabilis in the first instance for a six-month period to build a fully costed case for change, working with departmental leads through the organisation, which would be signed off by the Board. Once signed off, a programme team was engaged to develop a plan for change for each region and to make change happen! 

Change Management 

Mirabilis Management is highly experienced and skilled at Change Management. We work with our clients to scope their case for change and change plans and offer knowledge transfer to support sustainability of change operations in the organisation. Our experts are matched to the sector in which they are consulting for knowledge and cultural fit. We also match our people to the nature of the change which can be anything from technology and ERP change, to HR, Sales, Brand Marketing, product development, and PMO development to cater for Agile and Waterfall approaches. We work with private for-profit businesses, charities, government departments, and NGOs, to deliver services that work with the culture of the organisation and match audience and customer personas. For this project we provided the following: 

Heading E  (Carl - for all the words next to bullets – you can delete the bullets if the E style is different)

Developing a Case for Change

This involved market research and running workshops with leaders in all regions to uncover for every part of the business, the current state of the organisation against market need, and the required future state, identifying what needed to be done to get there. 

After a six-month period of working with all departments across regions, we produced a full report and managed the development of the case for change presentation which was presented to the Board. We were responsible for presenting the market change scenarios prior to the respective leads presenting their case for change against these.  

Programme Design

The case for change was approved, leading to our developing a programme design which included 21 workstreams. 

Programme & Project Management

A waterfall approach was taken to programme management as we had defined deliverables. Project management was supported by MS Project and reporting to a steering committee was weekly for each workstream. 

Organisational Restructuring

We supported HR through a full restructure of the organisation to align people and roles to regions, functions developing transformed roles that met the needs of the market. 

Business Change Design and Management

Business Change was undertaken using PROSCI including change planning, support, communications and training. 

Technology Change Management 

Tech change management was iterative with different types of newsgathering and dissemination equipment being tested and implemented once the leads were sure that they had the correct solution. Production also changed and the development of new production areas with new tech was staged to ensure no disruption to steaming news to outlets whether they be text, photo or video customers.  

Portfolio Review

We worked on a full portfolio review and transformation with the product and pricing teams to align content to regional and global products based on customer analysis.  

Implementation and knowledge transfer

Our team mentored and coached change agents, department leads and HR to ensure that training was available and also transferred the skills of market research and analysis, internal and external change comms, and organisational design and implementation so that the change would be sustainable. 


During the period of this change programme, news clients were starting to use fewer agencies and the transformation was critical for retaining and growing market position, especially in the video news sector which was the growing market. Retention and growth was achieved and the News Agency is still in the top 3 agencies in the world.