If you read my electronic newsletter, “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week,” you see hundreds of great ideas on how to generate publicity for your product, service, cause, issue or special event.
And I’ll bet many of you are left wondering, “How in the world does she expect me to do all this?”
Or, “Easy for her to say. I’ll bet she has an army of assistants helping her.”
Not exactly. Even though I farm out work occasionally to about six or seven sub-contractors, I only have one assistant. She’s a virtual assistant who lives 15 miles from my office.
Since I’ve started using Christine Buffaloe of Serenity Virtual Assistant Service, she has freed me up to concentrate on the things I love to do, like creating new products and services that generate revenue, blog, and participate in joint ventures with other entrepreneurs. Chris has shaved hours off my work week.
If you’re the kind of person who always has work left over at the end of the day, consider hiring an assistant, or a virtual assistant, to help. Other than routine administrative chores, here are the types of publicity-related tasks an assistant can handle:
Writing press releases
With some coaching, almost anyone can learn how to write press releases and post them online.
Tell your assistant to sign up for my free email tutorial “89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases.” It explains how to write them not only for journalists, but for the search engine spiders. Consumers who are searching for information using a search engine like Google will be able to find your releases, visit your website, and maybe buy tickets to your event—even if journalists determine the release isn’t worthy of their time and attention.
Update press kits
Take a look at your current press kit. I’ll bet there’s something in it that’s out of date. You can use an assistant to update the kit and do things like upload new photos to your online media room. Or send recent photos to your media contacts and ask that the media keep them on file.
Find media outlets where your story would be a good fit
This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. A fast, easy way to do this research is to create a Google Alert for a specific keyword or keyword phrase. For example, let’s say your organization deals with start-up businesses. You could create an Alert for “start-up business.”
Google would then alert your assistant via email—once a day, once a week or as it happens—whenever an article, blog item or anything else appears online with that keyword phrase. When your assistant sees what Google has delivered, she can then click on each article. If she finds a journalist has written one of the articles, you can then determine if you should add that journalist to your media contact list.
Find bloggers that might write about you
You can also use Google Alerts to find bloggers, too. Tell your assistant about Technorati, a search engine for blogs. She can type your keyword or keyword phrase into the window, and Technorati will deliver a list of blogs that include information about that topic.
When your assistant has a list of potential bloggers, she can visit their blogs and determine whether you might want to contact the blogger with information about your event. Or, you can post a comment at their blog, with a link back to your website.
Obtain reprints of articles
Another tedious chore is asking newspapers and magazines if they’ll give you permission to reprint articles they’ve written about you. If you get permission, then you can have reprints made. Use the reprints in many different ways, from inserting them inside press kits to mailing them to clients.
Why stand in line at Kinko’s when you can have your assistant handle this time-consuming task?
Post to Craigslist
Craigslist can be a goldmine for savvy Publicity Hounds. It has more than 140 separate lists for cities, regions and countries all over the world. You’ll find separate categories for classes, events, local news, volunteers, lessons and small biz ads, among others.
This giant community bulletin board is the perfect place to let the world know about what you’re promoting. But posting frequently can be time-consuming—the perfect job for an assistant. Tell your assistant to read my article “Craigslist: A Valuable Publicity Tool.”
Write tips lists
“6 tips for buying a successful franchise” and “11 ways to save money on your income taxes” are examples of tips lists that newspapers, magazines, bloggers and online article directory sites love.
An assistant can extract tips from your book, speeches, articles or other material and create these short lists, then submit them online and offline.
Don’t Have an Assistant Yet?
Have I convinced you to hire an assistant? One option is to use a virtual assistant, like I do. She can live thousands of miles away and still do a great job. “How to Hire a Virtual Assistant to Help with Your Publicity Campaign,” a recording of a telephone seminar I conducted, is available as a CD or electronic transcript.
Then give me five days and I’ll train your assistant, virtual assistant or summer intern–over the phone. No airfare or hotel bills. Your assistant can start putting into practice what she learns, starting from the first day.
Now, doesn’t that sound a whole lot easier than doing it yourself?