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.

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