A new startup in West Palm Beach is hoping to combine the more traditional public relations sector with the new media niche of women who blog. There are a lot of them, and they are likely more active than most of their male counterparts, some studies might suggest.
Seeing the gap between the traditional marketing style of "push, push, push" and today's social media preference for noninvasive, not-so-pushy advertising, SheBlogs.org hopes to fill in and smooth it over.
Julie Wohlberg, founder of SheBlogs.org, says that this noninvasive approach to the blogging community, especially women, is more effective. "What we have found," says Wohlberg, "is that these bloggers who are eager to connect with P.R. professionals aren't being serviced properly by traditional wire services and outreach methods."
Many bloggers, it seems, are interested in seeing products, new ideas, and emerging technology but aren't interested in sifting through thousands of boring press releases daily. Most P.R. sites or newswire services deliver these press releases, whether the product is great or lame, in heaps every day. In fact, many of them promote themselves by stating how many they have daily, as if a mountain of releases is somehow better than a more targeted molehill.
When asked what makes SheBlogs unique, Wohlberg says: "Aside from being one of the first such services to market, we're built an outreach tool that incorporates all of the social media elements that industry innovators like Stowe Boyd, Robert Scoble and others have called for (Twitter pitching, for examples), and eliminates the spammy nature that many bloggers claim to feel from traditional P.R. pitches. We have created a tool that these bloggers enjoy, appreciate, and find useful."
SheBlogs.org proposes to not only filter the releases down to whatever subject its subscribers prefer, but to also deliver them through non-invasive methods such as Facebook, Twitter, a newsletter, etc. This way, those who don't want every release hitting their inbox can instead use another service to subscribe or filter.
Several other things are offered as well, centered around the SheBlogs website: company directories, contests, and products offered for review. During beta, SheBlogs.org worked with Gatorade, Atkins, and more, so it's proving to work.
This more passive approach to getting P.R. seems to be much more effective online versus the old "flood the faxes and emails" approach that many press release agencies use on the traditional media. Newspaper offices are used to getting thousands of pages of press releases daily and television news is used to the flood of "clips" sent their way. Bloggers and most Internet news outlets, however, prefer not to be buried in a mound of P.R. they have to sift through to find the gold.
So SheBlogs.org may be on to something here. It's based in West Palm Beach, self-funded and has several people on staff. A sister site (so to speak) is launching next week as TheBlogWire.com. It will be a more generalized P.R. source much like SheBlogs.org, but without the women in blogging niche. Which is good news for me, of course.