15 years of beautypress: A success story
„Intuition is underrated. If you are not in touch with your intuition, you cannot be successful.”
(Arianna Huffington, author and syndicated columnist)
A PR portal pioneer, beautypress has become an industry leader in Europe. However, success didn’t come overnight, it was rather the result of 15 years of hard work, sharp decisions and an understanding of the beauty industry's needs. beautypress founder Gabriele Fuchs looks back
Back in 1999, Gabriele Fuchs had the idea of creating a full service platform for digital public relations. While she was convinced and passionate about her idea, she also feared that the industry wouldn’t catch on. Was it really worth taking the risk and investing that much? But then again, if she decided not to do it, someone else could have the same idea and launch that kind of platform instead of her. In the end, Gabriele knew that it was the right decision.
For the first version of her platform, a newly founded IT company created a crude portal for Gabriele, consisting of a homepage, a simple menu and a couple of pages. An advertising agency created the design. Gabriele met with her best contacts from the industry to introduce her new PR portal and find brands to join. Some were skeptical, but there were two well-known brands that were enthusiastic about Gabriele’s idea and became the first ones to sign up: Lancaster (which today belongs to COTY) and Oral-B (which today belongs to Procter & Gamble). This encouraged other luxury brands to join, and when on January 1st 2000, beautypress Germany went live for the first time, the brand portfolio consisted of 35 brands. 128 beauty editors had already signed up. The numbers quickly went up, and today there are 2,300 users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
„When you innovate, you've got to be prepared for everyone telling you you're nuts.“
(Larry Ellison, Oracle founder)
Even when the dot-com bubble burst, beautypress saw economic growth – proof that the PR portal was something the industry wanted and needed. But it wasn’t until 2005, after constant encouragement, accolades and growing brand interest that Gabriele actually started to feel confident about the future of her business. „That’s when I knew that the project stage was definitely over“, she remembers.
Gabriele kept reinvesting up to 15 % of the turnover in her business, constantly researching new trends and technologies. Over the years, beautypress got a new search engine, various new services and features, a more appealing design, a new menu structure…and finally a new database, since the old one wasn’t made for such a large amount of images and didn’t have the option to change the language of the PR portal. Since Gabriele had always thought global, she had already purchased beautypress.de, beautypress.at, beautypress.ch and beautypress.com.
In 2006, there were 250 brands on beautypress.de (today, there are more than 400), amongst them mighty enterprises, medium-sized businesses, indie brands, trade shows and associations. In 2007, Gabriele launched livingpress, a platform for interior design, furnishing ideas, lifestyle and food, in 2008, medicalpress for medical treatments and therapies followed. In 2009, Gabriele purchased a new software for her database. That year, the US became part of the PR network – and beautypress.com launched with already accredited 1,000 journalists in the States.
„The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.“
(Seth Godin, bestselling aouthor of „Linchpin“, „Tribes“ and „The Dip“)
Even during the financial crisis, when most beauty companies were on a warehouse diet, Gabriele was convinced that beautypress would be successful. When everything falls down, beautypress will be there to create new structures, she said to herself. And it worked!
In 2011, Gabriele launched beautypress for France, Belgium and Luxemburg, and in 2013, fashionpress for the fashion industry, bolstering the network’s position as a market leader. These days, more than 10,000 journalists are part of the webportalis PR Network.
Today, webportalis has offices in Göppingen near Stuttgart, Hamburg, Paris and New York, with around 20 employees globally. It is made up of a dynamic team speaking multiple languages, with extensive local and international knowledge. The team is made up of Platform Managers, Content Managers, Copywriters, Event Managers, Sales Managers and enthusiastic and talented interns. 80 % are women, most of them younger than 30.
With a global increase of over 10 %, and big investments in social media and online strategies, the future looks bright for the PR industry.