SourceBottle, a free, online resource for journalists, bloggers and PR professionals, announced yesterday that it is expanding its services to North America. While SourceBottle enables journalists and bloggers to efficiently find knowledgeable sources, conversely, it provides PR professionals with publicity opportunities that make sense for the products and services they represent.

SourceBottle is unique in that it exclusively focuses on topics around women’s interests, including beauty, business, home and lifestyle, health, parenting and relationships. Considering that 85 percent of consumer purchases in the US are made by women, the ‘she-conomy’ is generating more products and services for female consumers, more marketers are focused on reaching specific female demographics, and more bloggers and journalists are covering topics related to women’s interests.

This PR tool and other journalist resources are great platforms for brand owners and PR consultants. They help us get our news into the hands of the media.

But … are they the be-all, end-all?

No. Certainly not. Publishing a news release to an online newswire is not PR, or “ePR” for that matter.

How do you create a PR program that goes “above and beyond?” If your objective is ROI and exemplary results, here’s our advice. You can EARN outstanding placements by using tried and true public relations methods: developing home-grown media lists and nurturing one-to-one relationships with editors, scouring editorial calendars to identify highly focused PR opportunities, and using organic search to guide editors to our your clients’ news and PR materials. These activities require time and resources dedicated to research and planning. While there are 3rd party tools that can offer assistance, be warned; even the most sophisticated tools can’t create a comprehensive, customized PR program for your organization.

A proactive, well-rounded PR program could be generating highly qualified sales leads for your organization. Responsory has a variety of success stories involving consumer and trade publicity programs. And these success stories go beyond ad equivalencies, credibility formulas and clippings. For example, one case study for a new product launch shows that our PR placements drove more than 25% of the traffic to campaign’s microsite. That’s thousands and thousands of visitors that may have never have learned of the product or visited the site otherwise. In yet another success story, publicity results earned a return on our client’s investment that was better than 5 to 1.

If you feel your organization isn’t living up to its PR potential, we’d love to hear from you!