Issue: web site launch
After a couple of months of dot.com bashing in the media, gaining
in-depth and enthusiastic national coverage of a new on-line venture is
an extraordinary feat.
Flametree is a web site set up by two working mothers, Jayne Buxton and
Rosemary Leith, who each have three children. The site is aimed at women
between 30 and 55 who want to balance their lives - whether this means
the balance between work and family, between paid work and community
concerns, about having a balanced approach to business or being a
It is interesting not only from the point of view of a resource for a
fair chunk of those who work in PR, but also because they seem to have
got everything right so far in terms of PR.
In the past couple of weeks the founders have gained coverage of
themselves and their vision in Management Today and the Sunday Express,
among others, and the Observer has even started a ’Diary of a dot.com’
following the team as they gear up for the launch of the full site. The
BBC is also reported to be keen on doing a docusoap about the
The plan is to use viral marketing to spread the word about the site -
focus groups of ’friends of Flametree’ have given the founders very
positive feedback and it is intended that they will become evangelists
for the site through word of mouth and e-mail.
Buxton is herself evangelical about workplace flexibility for women,
having written a book on the subject, and is also a member of the
National Work Life Forum.
The site was named after the African flametree, known for its strong
roots and ’illuminating’ foliage. This reflects the aim to be inspiring
and insightful as well as practical and relevant.
The site is packed with information and advice, although the most
popular areas are likely to be the discussion forums, where any topic
from parenting to flexible working can be discussed. Experts are on hand
to answer questions.
The aim of the forums is to create a community of like-minded women who
can share their experiences.
Among the other elements on the site are: Work, which includes
information on employee rights and starting your own business; Home and
Family, which covers childcare inside and outside the home, as well as
care of elderly parents; and Your Time, which looks at managing stress,
getting organised, and life and career planning.