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Sydney startup Flaunter looks to solve PR struggles with image search

On the back of an $850,000 seed funding round, Sydney-based image search startup Flaunter is looking to expand offshore and grow its team.

The service came about because of the difficulties PRs and publicists have with managing images as the amount of available content explodes, explained founder Gaby Howard to Mumbrella.

Gaby Howard, founder of image search startup Flaunter

Having spent 15 years working in PR before launching Flaunter, Howard had seen how brand imagery was often hiding in the dark corners of people’s hard drives and began thinking about the benefits of consolidating all service providers’ images into one central platform.

“Trying to discover a red dress among the thousands I had on file was difficult and time consuming but also meant I often missed opportunities,” Howard said.

“It was about creating a way to both more quickly and efficiently find a way to share imagery and respond to requests but also to collect data on what the media were using for their brands.

“My background is PR and the idea came around largely through my frustrations as a publicist so after many years of working in the industry and watching the rise and rise of the sheer volume of image content that brands were producing and media were wanting to access,”  Howard explained.

“I was in my own consultancy and on a daily basis I had requests from journalists which meant looking through multiple different folders and files, different USB sticks depending on what the clients had sent me to find something that matched the brief.”

Howard sais the service also gives feedback to marketers on what images are in demand for news stories: “It was about creating a way to both more quickly and efficiently find a way to share imagery and respond to requests but also to collect data on what the media were using for their brands.”

“You can start to get immediate feedback on what is and isn’t working, what media are interested in and as a publicist it was really important to properly measure the impact of the work I was doing.

“Transparency is really big, we have brands that do in-house PR and others are agencies. It’s really important they can report back in a very quantitive format.”

Giving clients control over the availability of images is important as well, said Howard: “Brands can choose to restrict the number of people who can download their content, they can be selective about who accesses the images and they can be really open if it’s exposure they are after.”

With the team based in Sydney and the Philippines, where image tagging and meta descriptions are added, Howard is looking at using the funding to grow and explore new markets: “It’s a new product, there wasn’t a market for this before so we’ve come a long way to what we are today.

“With Flaunter small businesses can really start to behave like big businesses, it starts to democratise that access to media. They can produce content just as quickly as the big brands and for them the next step is to do things that make them look more professional.”

 

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