Tag Archives: Topics

Networking Through Press Releases

What is a press release?

headline

 A press release, also known as a news release, is a few brief statements that outline the major facts of a news story in journalistic style. It is also an official statement issued to newspapers giving information on a particular matter, such as a new product or service, a company sponsored event or employee promotions.

Social Media

With the explosion of social media, the press release is now considered a form of networking. Instead of creating a brochure, white paper, or advertising campaign, the press release provides the perfect opportunity to broadcast news, new products or services, personnel changes, company expansion, and a host of other newsworthy topics. Rather than going through the local newspapers, social media broadcasts the press releases in many forms and at lightning speed, so businesses can keep everyone up to date on changes within the business and any brand changes.

People Networking

Why is this considered networking?

Networking comes in many forms. Almost any type of marketing involves networking. You may think of networking as a business event “after hours”, but networking is any time information is exchanged between the company and potential customers or clients. Networking is meant to create a bond between the product/service/company and potential customers/clients, so anytime someone is interested in your company’s news, product, or information that is a form of networking.

Successful networking involves person-to-person contact as in a meeting, phone call, or event. Press releases used to appear only periodically and only for important events within a company. Now that social media has created an ongoing platform for all kinds of information, the press release is easily used to relate information as often as needed.

Can press releases really take the place of networking?

A true press release is more formal than a quick bite of text in social media and it is usually a page long and can contain photos, charts, or graphs. Pieces of the press release can be inserted into social media, so within a short period of time, the entire message or news is out on social media. Broken into small bites, it is sometimes easier for readers to understand. They can digest small snapshots of information, which makes them eager to read the rest of the announcement.

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Virtual Colleague, LLC can get the results you need!

Press releases are easy enough to write up. After all, it relays information. You need someone, who knows how to write and get the message across briefly and succinctly, while creating interest in the announcement.

As a virtual assistant of Virtual Colleague, LLC, I can write press releases that not only convey the message, but also create the desire to know more about your product or service. Contact me today at 401-595-0087 for a free consultation. We will discuss your announcement and how I can relay more than just information to help your business grow.

 

Click here to link to my website for more information about Virtual Colleague, LLC.

Click on my Facebook page for more info about what I can do for your business.

Join me on Twitter.

 

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WRITING AGES LIKE FINE WINE

So Many Topics, So Little Time

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I’ve written over 140 blog posts since April 2013. In that time, I’ve covered various topics about my virtual assistant business, Virtual Colleague, LLC, running a business, different aspects of a business, my fiction novel “Everyone Evelon” and many other topics.

Everyone Evelon Cover

In preparation for writing this post, I went to back to the first six months of my posts. Needless to say, my writing has greatly improved. I struggled as anyone does, when they start out doing something that they’ve never done before. Back then, I had a variety of topics, but my writing style was not that good.

Through reading other blogs and doing some research, I’ve honed my writing skills and produced better copy and deliver more information to my readers. It doesn’t matter what topic I write about, I’ve developed a better way of expressing my thoughts and opinions and the blogs are better for it.

I write two distinctive blogs. One is for my virtual assistant business and the other began as a blog for my author website, but is in transition. As a result of taking a copywriting course, I will be dividing my time between my virtual assistant projects and copywriting.

Perfection

Mom Always Said Practice Makes Perfect

 BloThis is so true! I see the results in my posts as I scan through my blog posts from beginning to end. I’m getting better all the time. I’m still struggling with SEO and keywords, but I’m headed in the right direction.

wine-cups-and-grape

Writing Does Age Like Fine Wine

 Wine starts out as grapes. These are the topics for blog posts. The grapes are squeezed, so only the juice is used. This is the research that comes from searching for pertinent information to include in the blog post. The juice goes through a fermenting process. This is where the blogger researches, writes, stops, researches again, continues to write and then leaves this copy for several days to let it “settle” before going back to it to find mistakes, inaccuracies, or any other problems.

When the wine is near perfection, then it is ready for public consumption. So too, with your blog post. After you have rewritten your copy several times and changed the word order or some words and checked punctuation and grammar, then it is ready be shared with the public.

This is the analogy I use, when thinking about my blogs. Every post I complete is shared worldwide, so it needs to be as perfect as possible. I admit, some posts are funnier than others are or contain more information than the others, but each one is the very best I can do at the time. I use the wine analogy to keep myself focused and produce the best posts I can.

 bottle-and-glasses-of-wine

Wine Is Sometimes Enjoyed In Intervals

 

I recently bought a bottle of wine for the holidays. I know I will not drink all of it at once. Instead, I will savor it over a period of time. Writing blog posts should be like that, too. Your readers should want to reread them or refer to them, if they need to. Your posts should make a lasting impression.

The next time you start to write something, whether it’s a thank you card, letter, description, or other piece of copy, remember the wine analogy and make whatever you write as clear and smooth as a fine wine.

 

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Happy Anniversary to Us All

Anniversary Cake 2014

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It is one year, since I started this blog. The time has gone by so quickly. I want to thank all of my followers for staying with me and possibly bringing new followers to my blog. I’ve enjoyed writing every post. It’s a great responsibility to find new topics, stay focused on the goal, and be entertaining all at the same time. It’s challenging, but when I realized there were other factors impacting my business on a daily basis, I wrote about them.

The purpose of my blog is to talk about my virtual assistant business, Virtual Colleague, LLC, and all that I have to offer. I went over everything in my mind: my life, my skills, and my business. It gave me a lot to think about and opened new opportunities for me.

I’m another year older and much, much wiser. I’ve learned that being in business is a daily activity. There are no “9 – 5” working hours. It is a constant mix of searching for clients, networking, learning new technology, and then actually doing the work for the clients. It is using creativity to come up with business solutions for myself or my clients.

Working for clients has been an eye-opener in several ways. I realize that I can’t be all things to all people. I cannot read someone’s mind, so I have to be precise when sharing ideas and work strategies. If I multi-task in many areas, I will not be an expert in any of them.

In many ways, I’m so glad I chose to start a virtual assistant business. I’ve learned to overcome my shyness and to have patience—sometimes a lot of patience, when dealing with people and difficult situations.

As I continue to grow my business, I’m focusing more on my strengths. Rather than stretching myself too thin, I am streamlining my services and becoming more proficient in them.

Some of you may remember back in January I blogged that I had an announcement to make. I never did make it, because there was a delay, so it’s happening now. So here’s the big announcement.

Ebook Reader

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I have written a manuscript. I sent it to a copyeditor and she has reviewed it and returned it to me. After I complete my revision, I will be sending it to an e-publisher and hopefully in a few months, I will have an e-book on the market.

I have always had a flair for writing and I decided that I should pursue my interest. It will not deflect time away from my virtual assistant business, but it will keep me working and networking and that always brings in new clients. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and being in business gave me the courage to chase my dream and realize it very soon.

Thank again to all of my readers and followers for sticking with me and coming back each week for more. If you have any questions or ideas for a topic, just email me and let me know.

JPlante@VirtualColleagueLLC.com  

http://www.VirtualColleagueLLC.com

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Ghost Writing: Who Is Really Writing?

One of the services I offer as a virtual assistant at Virtual Colleague, LLC is ghost writing. While it’s not at the top of my list, it is something that I offer to do for my clients.  It’s controversial and some consider it unethical.

Business Card

What is ghost writing? This is when someone hires a writer to write something for them: an article, blog post, advertisement, commercial, video script, book, eBook, etc. and doesn’t use the actual writer’s name. The client hires a ghost writer for 2 reasons: 1) the client has the technical expertise, but does not have the writing skills and 2) the client doesn’t have the time to do that particular task and feel that a writer could do it for them.

Ghost Typewriter

What does ghost writing involve? The writer must determine exactly what the purpose of the piece is and what information is needed to accomplish the goal. For example, the company culture, attitude, products/services, discounts, giveaways, etc. While this is pretty straightforward information, the writing style, word usage, key words, and tone can easily cause problems or rejections for the writer. It is emphatic to discuss at length what is expected, including schedule, fee, deadlines, topics, and anything else pertinent to the assignment.

Why ghost write? New writers are looking for an “in” in the writing world and will accept these type of assignments. The assignment may come from an existing client that is impressed with the virtual assistant’s skills and wants to give her more responsibility.  If the writer is very knowledgeable in a particular area or expertise, then ghost writing is an easy way to make money and write about something the writer is familiar with.

GhostBusters How much control does the ghostwriter have? Sometimes, not much. The usual issues are: not getting paid the appropriate amount of money or getting paid on time; the client is never satisfied with the final re-write; the project is scrapped, but the writer isn’t told right away, which makes the writer keep working, but the client does not want to pay for that time spent on the project. Also, the writer cannot insert his/her own thoughts or feelings on the topic. Many times the observations of the writer or statistical research are dismissed, if the client feels that it would be detrimental to the company or product/service.

Smiley Writer

Is ghost writing ethical? This is a very difficult question to answer. It depends on the mindset and beliefs of the writer and the client. While the client may feel justified that they paid for a writing service and they got it, the writer does not get the recognition he/she deserves. The writer does all of the research and writing for the project, but doesn’t even get an honorable mention!

For newbie writers, this is a chance to do some writing and get used to researching, meeting deadlines, and dealing with clients, but for a serious, professional writer, this would not be the first choice for a career. While this may be necessary, so clients can get the word out about their adventures, explorations, or ideas; ghost writing requires a lot of time and patience, several re-writes only to experience the lack of acknowledgment.

As a virtual assistant, specializing in writing projects, I am particular about the types of ghost writing assignments I take. These assignments can end up being time-consuming, frustrating and not so financially rewarding. As a writer, it is always best to discover and use your own voice, when writing anything. Ghost writing limits that possibility, but is a way to earn money.

What do you think of ghostwriting? Let me know and check out my website: http://www.VirtualColleagueLLC.com

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