Tuesday, December 18, 2007

3 Ways To Use Google Alerts

Continued from last week...
#1 -- Get publicity IMMEDIATELY by tying-in with breaking news stories. One of the easiest ways to get publicity is to be able to comment on what's already in the news. For instance, Harrison Forbes is a dog training expert. Harrison was advised, "Whenever a kid gets attacked by a dog somewhere in America, you need to contact the newspapers and radio/TV shows in that city immediately and let them know you can comment on why it might have happened and how this attack could have been prevented." Harrison then asked, "But how will I know when a dog attack story hits the news?" Answer: "Use Google Alerts." Within 90 days of beginning to use this strategy, Harrison had gotten publicity in over 40 different media outlets across the country using this method.

#2 -- Get publicity YEAR 'ROUND by building friendships with journalists who write on your topic. Mark Amtower, also uses Google Alerts service in a very systematic way to get publicity. Here's what Mark does: First he sets up alerts to track stories written on his area of expertise, which is how small businesses can sell more to the government. When he gets an alert email pointing him to a good story on that subject, he then sends the journalist who wrote the story a short email saying he enjoyed their article and offers a sincere compliment. His email stands out because journalists don't often hear from their readers and when they do it's usually to complain. Within his email Mark mentions his site GovernmentMarketingBestPractices.com to reinforce his credibility. If the journalist writes him back and thanks him for his comments, Mark then offers to send them a free copy of his book and mentions he's happy to be a resource for them on any future stories they might do on this or similar topics. This simple technique has helped Mark get a lot of publicity in his niche because he's systematically created relationships with many reporters who now look at him as a reliable source.

#3 -- Get publicity EASILY by using proven headline formulas as "hooks." Business owners who want more publicity often ask what their 'hook' or angle should be when approaching the media. "What hooks have others in your industry successfully used to get publicity?" Usually they don't know, but by using Google Alerts (or even just searching the Google News database at http://www.google.com/news ) you can quickly find articles in which others with similar expertise are quoted. For example, let's say you're a mortgage broker in Denver. One day you discover a story in the Chicago Tribune about new loan programs making it easier for self-employed people to get a mortgage. Well, if it's newsworthy in Chicago, it's probably going to be considered newsworthy by the media in your city. So pitch your local media on doing the same story, only this time they'll be interviewing YOU as the expert.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Using "Google Alerts"

Google has a very helpful free "alerts" service which can help you get a lot more publicity. It's essentially an online clipping service which monitors both the web and Google's news databases, then sends you an email as soon as something you're interested in appears in their search results. For instance, let's say you're a big fan of actor Kiefer Sutherland. You can set up a Google Alert for his name. Then whenever Google finds him mentioned in a top news story or on the web, you'll get an email including the web site address so you can go see where and how Kiefer is mentioned. To set up your own Google Alerts for free, just go to http://www.google.com/alerts

The exciting thing is you can use this service to grow your business in all sorts of ways. Some of the obvious ways to use it include setting up alerts to see what others are saying about you online, "spy" on competitors, find out about new developments in your industry and/or discover some possible new joint venture partners along the way. This service is also one of the best publicity tools ever created and it's free!

Make sure to visit "Making The News" often as I continue to explore this marketing powerhouse and reveal powerful ways to use this hot new publicity tool in upcoming posts

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Be an "Expert on File"

Are you in business?
I assume that you are or you would not be reading this. Are you good at what you do? I assume you are or you would not be reading this. The real question is, if you are so good at what you do why does'nt the media know about you? Answer, they have never heard of you.

Solution? Tell them!

Every media person in your town keeps a file of experts, authorities, contacts and sources they can call when a story breaks or when they need a quote. Mortgage rates are at all-time lows. The stock market has been break dancing. Car sales are fluctuating. Investment advisors are in high demand. Religious organizations are being bombarded with questions, and so on and so on. Every time a story breaks or is considered “hot” the media people scurry for insights, a quote, insider information, and timely responses from industry experts. The LOCAL ANGLE is what most of these reporters are seeking. When they need an insight, quote or factual information they always turn to their file of contacts. You can become one of these valued resources by simply calling and letting them know you are available for comment. Call your local editor or better yet, beat reporter. Introduce yourself and your expertise. Offer to assist the reporter in the event they need help on issues and stories of which you are qualified.

Scan your newspaper and begin to look for “trends” any given reporter is following. Look for the impact a national story could make locally. Call the reporter and make yourself available in the event he/she needs clarification or an opinion on an ongoing and breaking event. Some national stories that you could comment on locally include:
*How the stock market will behave with Christmas looming.
*The local impact of major corporate scandals
*How the mutual fund debacle could effect local businesses
*How your industry is effected during the holidays
*What impact has the Iraq war had on your industry, and what changes are on the horizon
*Is Michael Jackson coming to town?

Every reporter in the world is looking for a local angle to a national story. If there is a national or regional story your paper is covering and you can help create a local flavor, you will get exposure and will be a valued media resource for years to come. The story does not have to be solely of a national scope either. What story lines does your local media seem to be hot on, a political race or hot issue, a nursing home infraction? In Birmingham AL (My home town) childhood obesity is the latest hot button. Are you a doctor, bodybuilder, runner, nutritionist, fast food restaurant manager? Did you lose 300 pounds on the Adkins diet, did your mom? See the various angles that could be offered by these different professions and/or people in the know? Everyday there is a story that needs further clarification. It’s all a matter of paying attention and making the call. Take a few moments today and scan your local paper. I’ll guarantee there is a story you're are qualified to comment on so... Pick up the phone and...