1) Do you think these publications (online sites) are launching because there’s a dearth of online content for woman? Or is it that traditional magazines aren’t relating to all women?
In this tailormade, immediate world of online content, women can now choicefully select what information they want to ‘pull’ into their homes/lives and can receive it on their own time. So although magazines in the hard copy form will still be a trusted source for her, the internet is a woman’s new best friend. She can have a conversation with both the online site as well as with other women who are part of the community.
As for print only magazines – it’s a monologue -- they don’t allow for interaction/dialogue/way for women to get involved. There is also no “immediacy” with monthly women’s magazines.
2) What opportunities do these new sites give PR professionals targeting the female audience?
You are creating a dialogue with women and your product/service – a chance for a brand conversation. But it is critical that you become part of the conversation versus pushing information on her or you risk turning her off. If done properly, you become part of her life.
3) Is there an opportunity to launch a new women’s magazine? Or do you think most of the new launches for women’s general interest publications will happen online?
Never say never, but the reality is the print magazine arena is saturated with titles that are losing ground/dollars with readers and advertisers as they turn to the internet; so it would be a very risky undertaking to launch just a print-only magazine today. Print magazines with online versions are already changing their game in order to keep up with online-only sites by using their online counterparts to drive content and news and give consumers the immediacy of information they now demand. Expect to see more ‘real’ women driving the content online through blogging, social networking sites – they are the new thought-leaders.
4) What are your thoughts about Wowowow.com’s success?
They have the right ingredients: smart, intelligent, well-known women + great insights and content + interactivity through their “conversations” section. This trend of new sites targeted specifically to women picks up where traditional magazines leave off by encouraging dialogue on some of the most important issues facing women today.
5) Anything else you would like to add.
To survive and thrive, every media outlet – be it print, radio or TV needs to create the right balance of push-pull between its brick and mortar platform and its online counterpart.
As a bonus, here's a question posed to Nancy Lowman LaBadie, EVP of MMC's consumer practice group.
Many of these new sites are putting great emphasis on creating a community. How important are communities for women in their news/entertainment sources?
Communities are important because women have always had a need and desire to interact and establish emotional bonds. Now, empowered by technology, women can get information and assert their opinions and get brands and other women to listen. Communities allow women to participate and the smartest groups are exploring new ways of speaking with women and providing access.
To women, participation is the new consumption and communities give them involvement and "first to know" knowledge and ultimately empowerment.