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  • Written by Jules Brooke

A new online platform is making running your own PR campaigns easy for small business owners and entrepreneurs – and it’s much more affordable than engaging a high-priced PR agency.

The right media coverage can be priceless, but there’s certainly a hefty price tag to pay if you’re thinking about engaging a PR agency. Depending on the PR services you require, expect to pay between $100 and $300 per hour – and putting a PR agency on a retainer will likely run you tens of thousands of dollars per year.

That’s a steep bill to pay, especially if you’re running a small business or startup on a shoestring budget, or are a lone entrepreneur, consultant or author trying to build your customer base without taking out a second mortgage on your home.

Fortunately, an online PR platform for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs is disrupting its high-priced agency competitors. Handle Your Own PR offers small and medium business an online PR platform you can use to identify relevant media outlets and build your own media contact list, craft engaging media releases, distribute them to the right journalists, and manage the follow-up process.

“PR really doesn’t need to cost the earth,” says Jules Brooke, founder and director of Handle Your Own PR. “It really lends itself to a do-it-yourself approach. Not only is it much cheaper than employing your own PR staff or engaging an agency, but journalists and producers appreciate dealing directly with the business owner without having to go through a PR rep.”

Brooke also provides PR training via her PR Accelerator, Bootcamp and Journo HYPR Link courses that aim to get business owners, entrepreneurs, speakers, consultants and authors up to speed on the wonderful world of PR.

Here are her top three tips for PR beginners:

1. Know your message

“You need to have something interesting to say,” says Brooke. “Think about the value you can offer journalists. Start by identifying the industry insights, expert commentary or interesting research you can share with the media. You need to develop a unique perspective on a set of well-defined topics so journalists know when to call on you for comment.”

2. Establish a strong angle

“Once you’ve identified your talking points, it will be much easier to establish a strong angle in your media releases,” advises Brooke. “An effective media release isn’t just an advertisement for your product or service. Rather, it should present an angle that a journalist or producer can use to build a story around. Stick to one clear angle per media release, clearly communicate it in the headline and first couple of sentences, then provide supporting quotes so the journalist can get a sense of what you can offer in an interview.”

3. Manage the follow up

“Busy journalists and producers can receive hundreds of media releases every day, so you can’t just send a lone release and expect lightning to strike,” says Brooke. “You need to follow up after sending a release, but its a fine line between being helpful and becoming annoying. Our online platform will help you manage this process so you get the timing right without wasting a bunch of your own time.

“If you have the right guidance, running your own PR campaigns is completely achievable – even for beginners.”

To try handling your own PR or to find out about the coaching options available, go to www.handleyourownpr.com.au

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