Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How to Use Google Alerts to Get Publicity

Because I just added a free guide to setting up Google and Twitter alerts to my Web site, I'd like to share the tips on using Google alerts to get publicity that I presented in my book publicity newsletter several months ago.

Here they are:

Set up Google alerts for your name, product, and topic. This free online clipping service will send a note and link to your e-mail inbox every time your specified search term shows up on the Web. When the alerts start popping into your mailbox unexpectedly like those last few popcorn kernels that wake up suddenly when you open the microwave bag, capitalize on this online exposure so you extend the mileage and impact.

Here are four things you can do once Google has alerted you that you’re in the news:

1. Link to appropriate online references from your Web site.

Use those glowing product reviews to influence potential buyers by excerpting them on your Web site and linking to the full review. If it’s an article or interview quoting you as an expert, provide a brief summary on your site with a link to the full article.

2. If your product is reviewed or mentioned on a blog, propose an online interview.

When I received the Google Alert telling me that Chris Forbes of Ministry Marketing Coach included my book Publicity for Nonprofits in his recommended reading list, I sent him a thank you note and asked if he’d like to do a Q&A with me on his blog. He did; we completed the two-posting exchange via e-mail. Chris also suggested I contact his colleague Nedra Weinreich about doing something similar for her Spare Change blog. Thanks to that introduction, I was Nedra’s guest blogger for a week.

3. When the reviewer is a blogger, your product is a book, and the comments are positive, ask the individual to repeat the comments on your book’s Amazon page.

Don’t be shy. When you’ve been alerted that someone has said something nice about your writing, send a note with your version of: “Thank you so much for the kind words about my book on your blog. I would be grateful if you would post your observations on, too, because I’m told that Amazon reviews from influential people like you help others make purchasing decisions. I’d be happy to return the favor by doing a guest Q&A on your blog if you’re interested.”

4. Find and add journalists covering your topic to your publicity media list.

Journalists – whether they are the traditional or “citizen” type – who have written on your topic once might be writing about it again, so put them on your media distribution list once your topic alerts send you links to their stories. Send them tip sheets or news releases, or pitch article or segment ideas. Stay in front of them so they think of you as an expert resource when they need one with your credentials. Add those reviewers mentioned in tip 3 to your list, too.

I hope you find the free guide, "How to set up Google and Twitter alerts," helpful. It won't take much time for you to get on top of who's saying what about your area of expertise.

Have you used alerts to get publicity? Tell us how you did it!

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