Is ‘$100 PR’ For Real?

Yesterday Gawker‘s Hamilton Nolan took the opportunity to give free press to a barely believable project called “$100 PR“–and to provide our entire industry with a bit of good-natured ribbing. While we dispute the idea that the business at large is “desperate for money”, we agree that $100 PR warrants another look.

Created by Laurena Marrone, a PR pro “with over 20 years of diverse experience” that appears to include a lot of music promo work (and the founding of Grit), this “new and extremely unique boutique” firm claims to serve “those who have a need to get the word out about any newsworthy product, service, or event, but cannot afford the high costs of most firms”. Hmm…

According to this guy, $100 PR gives clients “professional PR for your artist, event or venue for 100 bucks”. $100’s own description of its services is fairly straightforward. They include:

  • Writing a press release
  • Sending said press release to 250 “targeted contacts”
  • Providing “Access to a Network of 120,000+ of the Most Trusted Media Organizations in North America”, aka having a Vocus account
  • One follow-up call or email (but not, we assume, to each contact)
  • “Instant notification” of any coverage, comments or passes

So for $100, the firm will write a 500-word release, send it out via automated mailing list, and let you know if anyone picks it up. In other words, they’ll do the absolute bare minimum in case you don’t want to do it yourself–and they’ll also explain the concept of a newspaper in case you weren’t familiar.

Is there a catch?!?! Are these not “the same services for a flat $100 that many PR companies charge hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for”?

We have little doubt that Marrone’s project will earn her some attention–but how much of it will be positive?