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1Mby1M Deal Radar 2010: PINK, Atlanta, Georgia

Posted on Wednesday, Dec 1st 2010

Whether they are presented as generally satisfied and happy (for example, June Cleaver in the early sitcom Leave It to Beaver) or as wanting something more (Betty Parker in the 1998 movie Pleasantville or Betty Draper in the AMC series Mad Men), the stereotypical image of a 1950s and early 1960s woman, often a housewife, has such a strong hold on the popular imagination that it’s easy to forget the actual picture is more complicated. Readers may be surprised to learn that what is considered one of the earliest business magazines for women was founded in the 1930s. Charm began as a fashion magazine but by the 1940s bore the subtitles “the magazine for the business girl” and “for women who work.” With the rise of popular magazines and later of the Internet and digital media, the number of career resources for working women and women entrepreneurs has only increased. One such resource is PINK, a multimedia Internet company that aims to help women be more successful in their careers and in their lives generally.

PINK, which is based just outside Atlanta, was founded in 2005 by Cynthia Good. After 25 years as a journalist, during which time she a launched a women’s business magazine in Atlanta, Good realized the need for stories and information that focused on women in business to address the specific needs of ambitious women and the circumstances of their lives. PINK was created as a national women’s business magazine and event series with a Web presence. The business has since been converted to an entirely digital model. The community has grown rapidly since the shift to a digital, interactive, social media–focused model that combines live events to connect business women along with daily e-Notes and a place where women can comment, interact with each other, share questions and concerns, and access information from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Through PINK TV, PINK produces video series such as Minute Mentor and Empowerment.

One of the company’s main products is The Little PINK Book, which it describes as “career wisdom delivered daily.” Based on their interests, women can select to receive stories and information on five topics weekly: business, money, career, life, and style. The site also includes profiles of women in various fields, most recently Lisa Price, founder and CEO of beauty and hair care product line Carol’s Daughter; novelist Emily Griffin; and Newell Rubbermaid office products president Penny McIntyre. The Little Pink Book and other content are delivered free to members; PINK’s revenue comes from its live events and from advertising on the site. Current advertisers are FedEx Office, Parker Pens, Home Depot, Met Life, Ernst & Young, Porsche, Estée Lauder, and Martha Stewart Living magazine. Women are an important audience for advertisers: They control $7 billion in annual spending in the United States.

PINK sends out 1.5 million Little PINK Book e-Notes to career women everywhere, every month, and the community is growing at 10% to 20% monthly. The Little PINK Book has a 98% to 99% deliverability rate. As the company notes, “These are the women making the bulk of purchasing decisions for their businesses and their families and they are the influencers . . . very powerful and affluent.” Finally, women from 126 foreign countries visit PINK’s site monthly.

There are of course a large number of career and finance sites for women: SavvyMiss, Work Her Way, Career Diva, Women for Hire, Career Vanity, the Brazen Careerist blog, She Takes On The World, and Jane Has A Job, to name a few. Many general interest sites – Blogher, DivineCaroline, More, Oprah – have sections on careers and money. Earlier this year, ForbesWoman published a list of Top 100 Websites for Women that readers may want to look at. PINK aims to give women “the entire world at their fingertips” and publish material that engages its online community.

PINK was launched with personal, founder investment of less than $25,000 and contracts with several major advertisers, with total first-year revenue exceeding $1 million. This is a fact of which the company is very proud: only 3% of woman-owned businesses accomplish it. The goal is to double the number of women PINK reaches, from 70,000 to 140,000 daily within 24 months, and to more than double the number of women who visit littlepinkbook.com from 100,000 a month to 250,000. The company also wants to increase revenue 23% within the next year and says it is on track to reach these goals. It is looking at options for growth, from careful, smart, organic growth to VC dollars. It just signed an agreement with a media group to place ads on all the Minute Mentor TV segments that do not yet have advertisers.

Good and her team want to build up the PINK community and the company’s reach while increasing net revenue. Once that happens, PINK will entertain possible interest in the company.

Recommended Reading
Deal Radar 2010: StyleCaster
Women and Entrepreneurship: My Statement

This segment is a part in the series : 1Mby1M Deal Radar 2010

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