Why Does It Pay to “Help a Reporter”?

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HARO

You know the cardinal rule about being a business owner…..promote your business whenever you can – by marketing, by word of mouth, by mentoring and sharing, by telling your family, friends and, whenever possible and where appropriate, such as connections you make through your personal life like the local stores you do business with, the doctor’s office, the dentist’s, a party you go to, a luncheon, anywhere…

As well, when you are marketing on-line, the social networks are a great place to market your business by posting articles, blogs, ebooks, newsletters, videos, etc.

Recently, a VA friend of mine, Cristina Favreau, http://www.cristinafavreau.com/ posted a comment on the network we both belong to, the Canadian Virtual Assistant Connection http://www.cvac.ca/.

She mentioned getting publicity by checking into Help a Reporter.  Reporters write newsworthy content about all manner of subjects and part of their job is to interview experts and those who have a connection to the subject matter.  Help a Reporter is run by Peter Shankman who posts dozens of opportunities for us all to offer our input to these reporters for their articles and stories.  His site is at:  http://www.helpareporter.com/.

This site is where you Register to “Be a Source” of information for Reporters and Freelance Writers.  After you have registered, you will be subscribed to his 3 daily emails – morning, afternoon and evening that lists all the opportunities that have been posted by the reporters and freelancers on almost every subject you can imagine.  It lists the subject, the writer, their contact information and what they need for their research as well as a timeline on when they need it.

I signed up some months ago.  Although I don’t check every email, I scan some through the week to see if there is anything I can contribute and quite often there is.  Just after I first registered, I found one particular article I was able to apply for.  I emailed the freelance writer with a brief description of what I could provide and she emailed me back immediately with some questions.  I emailed back my information and about a month later, I found she had quoted me in her article in a prominent magazine as well as including my Business Name and web address.  (I long since set up Google Alerts on my name and my Company Name to be emailed to me on a regular basis to monitor feedback from the net).  And up popped the link to that Article.  Note:  the reporter/freelance writer rarely notifies you of what article you are appearing in and when.

By contributing content to an enquiring reporter/freelance writer (which took a total of about 1 hour of my time), I got free publicity!  That is a win/win situation.

I would appreciate any feedback from you about how you acquired some free publicity.

 Diane Coville

www.alternativeofficeassistance.com

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