Service Spotlight: PR

Get Ahead VA offers a wide range of business and marketing services. In our Service Spotlight, we take a closer look at one of these and show you how our virtual assistants can help you and your business. This month, we’re looking at PR.

What is PR?

PR stands for ‘public relations’, and it covers all the activities your business does to spread information, build relationships and present a positive image of itself to the world. In practice, this means communicating with the media, building a reputation through social media or organic marketing campaigns, managing internal communications, and running damage control if something goes wrong.


Get Ahead VA wins Highly Commended Enlightened Employer

Get Ahead VA is jumping for joy, because at last week’s Women in Business Awards we were Highly Commended in the Enlightened Employer category!

The Women in Business Awards are a celebration of businesswomen in the Thames Valley, Solent and South Coast regions of the UK. The awards are given to women who have made an important contribution to their organisations, at all levels, and Get Ahead VA was thrilled to be nominated for two awards this year.

The ‘Enlightened Employer – supporting women in the workplace’ award is given to companies “that have shown exceptional commitment to gender equality in the workplace.” This includes all areas of business, from recruitment to employee development, “or any other ways of creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture which enables women to excel.”


The truth about Press Releases

Press releases are a fundamental part of media relations work and one of the main ways you can share your news with journalists.

But unless you work in PR or comms, knowing how they exactly work and what they can actually achieve is somewhat of a mystery. For instance, just because you’ve issued a release to the media, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get any coverage.

In this blog, former journalist and Get Ahead VA team member, Sanina Kaur, sheds some light on the world of press releases.


How to get your blogs out there

Pretty much everybody’s blogging these days, which is a really good thing.

There are many reasons why businesses should blog, from boosting their SEO rankings (because we all know just how much search engines love new content!) to raising brand awareness and positioning themselves as thought leaders.

But here’s the thing…not everybody’s sharing their blogs.

Blog-writing is only half of the equation, the other half involves sharing your posts far and wide. By doing this, businesses can increase the chances of their blogs being read, shared and commented upon.


5 ways volunteering can help your small business

5th December is International Volunteer Day, a day created by the United Nations to celebrate volunteer organisations and raise awareness about the importance of volunteering. Each year volunteers from all over the world offer up their services for everything from litter picking to blood drives to fundraising events.

For small business owners, International Volunteer Day is a great opportunity to give back to the community. Plus, volunteering can bring all sorts of added bonuses that can help to build your business.


5 tips for writing press releases that rock!

Writing press releases is a key part of PR.

Get your releases right and they’ll be published far and wide, but get them wrong, and they a) won’t generate the coverage that they deserve or b) you were hoping for.

It’s not possible to write all of your press releases in exactly the same way, but there are best practice techniques you can follow, like these:


Before we focus on the writing side of things, there’s just one small, but crucial thing I wanted to flag that has the potential to really impact how your press releases perform, and that’s how they’re presented.


Expert Showcase: How to write a winning awards entry

Here at Get Ahead VA our team includes experts in a wide variety of fields.  From Accounting to Admin, Hootsuite to Holiday cover, Email Marketing to Excel, our VAs can add value to many aspects of your business.  In this Expert Showcase series our team deliver some of this expertise to you, with ‘How to’ guides to help you get the best bang for your buck in your business.

In this guide one of our PR & Marketing specialists Caroline talks about how you can write a persuasive and compelling awards entry to help you grow your business through PR:

“Awards can be a fantastic way of boosting the profile of your business – both locally and online.  Simply being nominated for an award is an accolade in itself, and being selected as a finalist or even winning an award provides fantastic fuel for your PR and social media.  Every step of the awards process is an opportunity to talk positively about your business and about the third-party recognition you have gained.


Meet the VA: Caroline

Meet the VA: Caroline

Here at Get Ahead VA our people are everything. Our ever growing team has a wide range of highly skilled professionals with different backgrounds, expertise and even different personalities to ensure that we can find exactly the right VA to match our customers’ requirements.

Here’s 60 seconds with one of our marketing specialists Caroline Saunders who has 17 years of experience in delivering effective PR and marketing campaigns for companies large and small:

Name: Caroline Saunders

Area of expertise: PR & Marketing

When & why did you join Get Ahead VA:  I joined Get Ahead VA in 2013.  I was looking for a flexible work solution that would enable me to work part-time around my son.  Right from the outset Rebecca Newenham was really clear about how the business was built on the whole principle of flexible working and how I could work as and when suited me. It has been a privilege to be part of such a talented team of people who are also mostly mothers, and to watch the business grow since then. (more…)

Why size really does matter for PR images

Journalists are busy people, bombarded with story ideas and press releases every day.  For your news story to stand out and get noticed it needs to get many things right – be relevant, specific, interesting enough, with a catchy headline etc.  It also needs to have the right images.  Not having the right images can make or break that once in a lifetime opportunity to get your brand featured across the local, national or even international news.

Whether you are contacting journalists yourself or outsourcing it to other PR professionals, having the right images is vital.  You need to be prepared for all types of media, with images that are small enough for website and email use – and large enough for print.  Just as you tailor your approach to each media outlet with your covering email and press release, you also need to tailor the images you send – low resolution for an online only publication but high resolution for print media.