This Startup Offers Publicists a Better Alternative to Clogging Journalist's Inboxes

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Getting the word out about a brand new business can sometimes seem like an uphill battle. But this social media platform wants to help change that.

Launched in 2013 by sister team Hannah Oiknine and Sarah Azan, Paris-based Babbler's mission is to create a better way for media and PR professionals to connect. The startup, which recently raised more than $2 million in funding, is geared toward companies that do PR in house, PR firms and newsrooms.

Babbler wants to help its users save time by streamlining a process that often has PR professionals sending pitch emails out into a void and journalists sifting through an inbox filled with queries that aren't relevant to their interests.

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Babbler has a user base of about 5,000 journalists, for whom the service is free, and more than 300 PR agencies and brands, for whom there is a scaled fee. The company's clients range from small startups that don’t necessarily have the budget to retain PR professionals and want to find a way to get in touch with reporters to big names such as Nike, Black & Decker, Danone, Edelman, Ogilvy, Pinterest and Waze.

"The big question always is, do you start with the chicken or the egg? We needed enough reporters to attract the companies and we need enough companies to attract the reporters," says co-founder and CEO Oiknine. "PR professionals already have their own contacts, and they are in contact with them every day. We started by having the PR professionals invite their own network of followers, and that is how we built our community."

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Oiknine highlighted the platform's matchmaking algorithm as a feature that has aided the community’s growth since its launch. "If another PR professional invites someone else and it matches with your domain of interest, you're going to benefit from her contacts," she says.

Having made a splash in Paris, Azan and Oiknine announced the opening of their New York office at this year's SXSW.