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October 12, 2010
Do-It-Yourself 'PR'
Here's a service that may have value for some folks in these budget-strained times. We make no warranty for anything about it, but the website HandleYourOwnPr.com may have utility at least for circulating press releases handily.

The site was founded in 2008 in Australia, by Jules Brooke and Simone Heydon, and now is partnering in the U.S. with Jenny Finke, so its "About Us" explains. It's selling media lists under the headings of Holiday Lists, Lifestyle, Kids/Parenting, New/Business, and Australia (should you be thinking of branching out). The lists sell from $75 to $225 (on the Australian end of things) and allow you at least to gauge the publications they include. 

The site includes tips on writing press releases and "making news." It appears to have a certain utilitarian value if you're looking for wider coverage of your business, providing you have something to offer in multiple markets. And of course, that's the reservation about a "public relations" site focused on distributing news releases. The four steps listed on the service's home page aren't quite all there is to it ("Write Press Releases, Purchase Media Lists, Send to Media, and Get Famous"). PR isn't just about journalists. Media initiatives come toward the end of a focusing process that should begin with reviewing input from your market; defining what an organization or product is about; planning a marketing program; and deciding on goals, objectives (markers toward the goals), and strategies for moving ahead, media relations and press releases among them.

So "Handling Your Own PR" might be more aptly titled "Sending Out Your Own Press Releases." But in that regard, the service may have value if you're seeking to extend your business and don't have a staff or outside agency to help you along, or maybe you want to freshen up your media lists, assuming that HandleYourOwnPR.com has already done that for the ones they're offering.   

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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