Who we are and what we do
Hello. I’m Chris Russell and I lead the product team at Trinity Mirror Digital, which builds and maintains a publishing platform and consumer products used by some of biggest names in UK digital news.
Starting a blog to share what we do has been on our backlog for some time. I’m delighted that, in the best tradition of product management, we have finally prioritised and delivered it. When we can prise them away from delivering excellent products, members of the team will now be sharing their own individual stories.
I thought I’d kick off with a flavour of who we are and what we do.
What we do: the products
Trinity Mirror is unique in the UK in publishing commercial news products at a national, regional and local level. The Mirror is one of the UK’s largest news brands, Scotland’s Daily Record, the Irish Mirror and Wales Online are market leaders in their nations and our regional digital titles such as Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo are the largest and fastest-growing products of their type.
We have a proud history in print and my team’s role is to help ensure a bright future digitally by reaching users and advertisers with excellent digital products, which are many, varied and growing.
- We support 30 websites on our core platform, which has evolved and moved into the cloud over the last 5 years. Approximately 100 million unique users consume these products on a monthly basis.
- During 2015 we launched more than 50 email newsletters and 14 new smartphone apps on both iOS and Android, adding to a number of digital tablet editions of print products. Hundreds of thousands of people use these every month to each consume hundreds of news articles.
- We have also started publishing content into other platforms such as Apple News, Google Play Newsstand, Facebook Instant Articles and the Accelerated Mobile Pages project.
- In November 2015 Trinity Mirror acquired Local World, which added more than 80 websites and 10 apps to our product portfolio, and which will add many more users to the numbers.
Why we do what we do: the product strategy
All of the above would be pretty pointless without a strategy. Before building a product, I believe anyone should have a clear idea of why it is needed and how it might succeed. At the heart of what we do is building a digital platform to enable our businesses to deliver a simple vision:
News, sport and entertainment for users’ daily lives
Despite our content being available so widely, consumed globally and produced across the length and breadth of the British Isles, this vision and our six main strategic priorities apply to all the titles using the platform.
- To enable Discovery of our products by new users
- Deliver Engagement from existing users
- Build Loyalty and deliver on the company vision of being an “essential part of our customers’ daily lives”.
- Additional Revenue from specific initiatives
- Build a stable and developing Platform
- Deliver Innovation & Strategy for existing and new products.
Every product we build and maintain has clear objectives to deliver at least one of these goals.
The strategy and the products we deliver are largely the result of the product and engineering team’s talent and hard work. We organise ourselves with that strategy and the products in mind. This is a simplified view of who we are and what we do.
- Mary Lojkine is Head of Product for the web platform and video, plus national titles like the Mirror, Ireland and Scotland. Much of what she and her team does is focused on increasing engagement.
- Darren Sher is Head of Product for apps, emails and single sign-on, plus regional titles. Much what he and his team does is focused on building loyalty.
- Heika Fu is Head of Commercial Product. She and her advertising services team work closely with our commercial teams to ensure our products deliver maximum revenue.
- Chris Lam is Head of User Experience and Design. He and our designers ensure our products meet a consistently high standard in these areas to encourage continued engagement and loyalty.
- Rob Hammond is Head of Search Engine Optimisation so has a team focussed on discovery while also managing our publishing products on different platforms such as Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News.
Within their teams there are more than 20 other people — product managers, business analysts, producers, designers and search specialists — who each focus at the right level of detail and meet goals by hopefully building the best apps, websites or other features they can.
Alongside us, Neil McIntyre, our Director of Engineering and his senior team lead the platform strategy, while the engineers, testers and other key technical experts and support staff work in small multi-disciplinary developments with product people.