7 Common Mistakes Virtual Assistants Make In Doing PR

A Publicity VA is a virtual assistant who adds the niche “Publicity” to their VA business. It’s basically working to get more press for your clients. It can be as simple as sending out articles and press releases, to providing more complex services such as creating entire media campaigns and pitching the media. It’s effectively promoting a business, a book, a speaker or coaching program, whatever your clients need that will get them more exposure in the media. To be most effective for your clients, a Publicity Virtual Assistant needs to know how to do it right. 

Here are 7 common mistakes Virtual Assistants make in doing PR:

Mistake #1: Not getting enough traction with the releases you write.

•Don’t be a one-pitch wonder. Know that PR takes time and if you only write one release and send it out to one or two places, you won’t see results.  Plan an aggressive PR campaign.

•Repurpose your material.  Your press release can be made into an article, blog posting, added to a media kit, sent to clients, added to your website, newsletter, Twitter, etc.  Social bookmark it as well. Get the most exposure you can. 

Mistake #2: Your media is not interesting enough.

•Your release or article needs to address an audience problem. It should be attention grabbing, create curiosity and finally it should entice the reader with a strong reason to continue to read further.

•Make it newsworthy.  Talk about why this release would benefit your audience.  Make sure to provide value and a solution to your reader, and why your expert information will make their business run better or make their life easier.

Mistake # 3: Not using social media.

•It’s important to do as much as you can with all media you send out. Add all media coverage to your blog, site, newsletter, etc.  Also, add a share button so that you can share all the media.  Ask friends to Digg it, Tweet it, Facebook it, etc.  You should also Ping it.

•Share other articles and press releases that you find on the industry. This also adds to your rankings and expertise.  People will want to read what you find interesting.

Mistake #4: Not doing a keyword search analysis and not using the right keywords.

•Before you send out any releases or articles, do an SEO search first; Google Adwords, Word Tracker, etc.  Also look for search topics in Twitter.

•Now see how you can incorporate those keywords into your release, title and summary. Even add keywords to image links when possible.

Mistake #5: Not submitting at the appropriate time.

•Timing is critical. You don’t want to be pitching a business lead when the media is experiencing an influx of other news. Pitch during the slow news spells. You also want to be very careful if you pitch on a holiday or holiday weekend.

•Be familiar with editorial calendars.  Publications routinely write on topics months ahead and often talk about the same topics during the same time frames. Also, know the lead times for magazines and other media.

Mistake #6: Pitching in the wrong format.

•Most media will tell you how they want their material to be sent to them, as an email pitch, a completed form or some other method. The most important thing is to know the different methods and submit the release using correct one.

•Follow the accepted guidelines for writing an article or press release: including overall word count, punctuation, newsworthiness, etc. Using improper format can cause your work to be rejected.

Mistake #7: Not checking the status and rankings

•It’s important to know your client’s Google Status as well as Amazon Page Rankings, etc.  This allows you to follow results of the media you submit for your client.

•Also, make sure to check stats when submitting articles and press releases.  Have the articles been approved recently? How many hits did they get?  This tells you whether you want to do more.

Adding publicity as a niche can be exciting and rewarding for a virtual assistant. The key is to learn as much as you can about the field so you can offer top-notch services. Understanding these common mistakes will help you to fine-tune your expertise and allow you to provide your clients with the quality of service they need to promote their business or products.

Diana Ennen and Kelly Poelker are the co-authors of numerous books including Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and accompanying Virtual Assistant – The Series Workbook, and Virtual Assistant – The Series: Working Virtually, A Guide to Working Remotely as an Employee.  Stop by their site for complete information on starting your own VA business http://www.vatheseries.com.  Article is free to be reprinted as long as the author’s bio remains intact.

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