Long time PR media practitioners Jenny Finke along with Betsy Mulvehill of Denver-based PR agency Red Jeweled Media, partnered to bring together HandleYourOwnPR.com . Launched at the end of July 2010, they provide the small business owners with the right tools to do their own public relations. Their main do-it-yourself services are media lists (downloadable for purchase), a press release writing service and free PR advice through strategies, tips, etc.
WomenHomeBusiness.com talked with Jenny Finke about this new PR service for small business owners:
What inspired you to start Handle Your Own PR? What is the need that you see for this type of service?
I’ve been working with small business owners for many years – some could afford my services, some couldn’t. It killed me that I didn’t have any products or services to offer companies who deserved good PR, but didn’t have any budget. HandleYourOwnPR.com services those needs. With the thousands of new companies starting daily, there are more bootstrapping entrepreneurs than ever before and they are the ones in dire need these low-cost, DIY PR tools.
Handle Your Own PR targets small businesses. Why should a small business do their own PR?
DIY PR isn’t for everyone, it’s just for the bootstrapping entrepreneurs. I actually advise quite the opposite, that entrepreneurs not try to do everything themselves and invest in a quality PR person. Despite my advice, there are still many entrepreneurs who want to give it a go on their own. Sometimes the owners who try their own PR make the best clients in the end because they know all the hard work that goes into doing PR. They have a new-found appreciation for my profession.
You partnered with an Australian firm to bring the business to the US. How did the strategic partnership come about?
I met the owners of HandleYourOwnPR.com.au on Twitter. I was selling DIY PR eBooks I wrote and they contacted me to consider partnering with them. The business model looked wonderful and the two women who run the show in Australia, Jules Brookes and Simone Heydon, are very talented and well-liked PR professionals down under – so they are two women I am honored to partner with.
What kind of results can small businesses expect from using Handle Your Own PR?
You get out of it what you put into it. There are no short-cuts to success. If you take the time to learn about PR and understand how to execute it strategically, companies can generally expect great results. If they sloppily put a press release or pitch together and then expect overnight success, they are mistaken. PR is earned and it takes time. Persistence and quality are key.
You offer media lists. What is the best way small businesses should approach media to help them get the notice they need?
Individuals should approach media in a conversational and personal way. PR isn’t a one-way street. Get to know a reporter before you ask them to write a story about you. Read their past articles, Google them and understand their areas of interest. Then pitch them in a targeted and personalized away. Canned press releases will usually get deleted without being read; personalized pitches will generally get considered.
How are you marketing the business?
I am doing my own PR to promote HandleYourOwnPR.com. I’m promoting it to small businesses, entrepreneurs, mompreneurs and independent PR professionals who can’t afford the expensive media list building services.
How do you see the business 5 years from now?
I see it continuing to grow year after year. The media industry is changing daily, so what’s not clear is what that growth will look like and what HandleYourOwnPR.com will look like in the future!
What advice can you give women business owners?
Don’t try to do everything yourself. Get help. Know your limits. Also, many women start businesses as hobbies, but I encourage them to see their businesses as more than a hobby and set financial and personal goals along the way.