Jules Brooke, founder of Handle Your Own PR, got her first PR job by accident, then taught herself the skills to pull it off – going on to found her own agency Handle Communications, and then Handle Your Own PR.
After starting a successful graphic design company in her twenties, Jules left her full-time job when her son was born. When her son was one year old, Jules was keen to find her next business endeavour. Bemoaning her struggle to get traction with her next business to a friend, Jules was introduced to actor and comedian Mark Mitchell, aka Con the Fruiterer.
Later that week after their first meeting, Mark rang Jules and asked if she would handle the PR for his new release DVD “Best of Con the Fruiterer”. With $160 in her bank account, Jules eagerly said yes! Then, says Jules, “I sat down hard and thought ‘how am I going to pull this off?’ as I had no idea how to do PR, but I really needed the money!”
After speaking with Mark again, he suggested that Jules simply call the producers for Bert Newton, Alan Jones and other TV and radio shows, so off she went. While barely knowing what she was doing, and with no one to show her how, Jules followed her instincts and got the interviews they were looking for.
The DVD company was so pleased with the results, they asked her to do PR for another 5 new DVD titles, and so the agency was born! “All because”, laughs Jules, “I wasn’t game to admit to Mark or the DVD company that I hadn’t done it before – and because I needed the cash. And it changed my whole career.”
Jules transitioned from DVD PR into the parenting space soon after her twins were born in 2006, and then worked with small business owners and entrepreneurs before realising she could teach people how to do their own PR in late 2008. Handle Your Own PR was first launched in 2009, but went through a series of website redesigns to create an easy to use platform that would save small business owners time and effort. Now, in 2017, the site is a world first. No other platform guides the user through the entire process, sends the release to the media and provides media contacts.
“I really want to take the pain and fear away from business owners approaching the media themselves”, says Jules. “It’s really not hard as long as you make sure that your story idea isn’t all about promoting your own business, it’s about helping other people with information or advice”.
Jules is living proof that PR is achievable even for the most extreme novice – if only you set your mind to it! Now, she’s passionate about teaching others and providing the tools and skills they need to reap the benefits of PR.