Now, I am not looking to start a “Fire Storm” in the VA industry, but more to stimulate some productive discussion – there is my disclaimer:)

I recently reviewed a Press Release from a Virtual Assistant Association (I will not mention names) that was promoting a 2008 survey for the Virtual Assistant Industry. Here is an excerpt from the first part of the Press Release:

“Virtual Assistants are fed up. They ve had it with inaccurate media portrayals and reporters who don t get the facts right. They re sick of exploitive industry outsiders who don t understand the Virtual Assistance business misinforming their marketplace. They re tired of constantly having to explain the difference between an employee and an independent service provider. And they re having their say about it all by participating in this year s third annual Virtual Assistant Industry Survey.”

Since many of you are Professional Virtual Assistants, I would be interested to hear if you share the above sentiment as this particular industry leader. Please send me all your comments and feedback!

Let me give you my own 2 cents for what it is worth:)

While I can appreciate the frustrations that some VAs may feel at the media s misrepresentation or misunderstanding of the VA industry, I am not sure if this kind of negative undertone is the most productive way of positively educating media reps and the business world. While the survey is very well done, I think the promotion of the survey through this Press Release presents a somewhat hostile perspective, which I don t believe is necessary.

Yes, the media needs to be more educated on the varied roles and responsibilties of today s Virtual Assistants, but I believe the growing publicity of the Virtual Assistant industry is a great thing! Sometimes even less than accurate publicity can bode well for an relatively new industry as it will bring further awareness and expand the dialogue and interest.

I know some VAs have felt cheapened by Tim Ferriss portrayal of the VA in The Four Hour Work Week, but let me tell you . this book has been HUGE in bringing further light and attention to the VA industry. It has awakened many island enterpreneurs who now realize their business and life could be that much more successful if they were to hire VAs

The bottom line is that the concept of a Virtual Assistant is still a new thing to a lot of people and it is our job to properly educate them on indisputable benefits of hiring specialist VAs to perform a whole variety of pertinent tasks.

On a personal level, when I decided to leave my corporate job and jump into the Internet realm many moons ago, I received a lot of “interesting looks” and misunderstanding about what I would be doing working on the Internet:) You might laugh at this now but it shows how far we have come in 6-7 years. During the early years, I constantly found myself having to explain and educate people on what I do!

Anyways, I am absolutely convinced there has never been a better time to be a Professional Virtual Assistant then right now as more businesses are outsourcing, more people are becoming familiarized with the VA industry and the Internet Biz continues to grow at a rapid pace. These are great days, so I think we need to keep a positive perspective even when misunderstandings or misrepresentations come our way!

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments – agree with me, disagree? Please share.