Monday, February 15, 2010

How to Learn More About Publicity

How do you learn how to be your own publicist? Good books, courses, and workshops are helpful and I recommend them. But I also suggest using Google and Twitter alerts to learn more about specific publicity topics. It's like having a crash course delivered to your inbox on an ongoing basis.

Alerts for carefully-chosen keywords used in Twitter tweets or anywhere on the Web (delivered via Google alerts) will help you find the many educational, instructive blog postings with the information you need. But it won't always come to you exactly when you need it -- that's what a good in-the-moment Google search is for.

Google and Twitter alerts serve many other purposes -- they can be your online clipping services, too -- but you can't beat them for providing "here's-how-to-do-it" information from some of the top experts in any field. Twitter, in particular, is an essential component of my ongoing professional development. It not only helps me learn -- it helps introduce me to the people who truly know what they're talking about on a specific subject. These people might then agree to write an article for my book publicity e-zine, do an educational teleseminar, or be a guest blogger here.

I offer free instructions on how to set up Google and Twitter alerts available for download here; it's not hard and you'll be ready to roll in minutes. The hardest part is figuring out which terms to use -- and the terms you're searching for should change over time. For example, you might set alerts for "social media release," "press release tips," or "how to pitch" but cancel those once you feel you have learned as much as you need on that subject. From there, you might set alerts for "press release distribution." (You'll note that these all make good Google search engine terms when you add "how to" to your search phrase, if you need the information now.)

  • Authors: try "social networking authors" or "book publicity"
  • Small business owners: try "small business publicity" or "solo publicity"
  • Nonprofits: try "nonprofit publicity tips" or "charity publicity tips"

Play around with your alert terms -- if you get too many, make adjustments. If you get too few, try something else. Other people know more about how to generate the perfect search term than I do (and if you're reading this, I'd love it if you'd share them). I find that just giving it my best shot and then tinkering gives me all the alerts I need to stay informed.


Shon Hyneman said...

I am a huge fan of twitter, but how can I get more followers? My latest book "It's the woman you gave me" is getting some reviews on twitter and facebook.

Sandra Beckwith said...

I'm sure if you Google this, you'll find lots of good info. I'd also suggest this teleseminar ( or this book ( Lots of great info.

Leigh Ann Otte--TheDoctorWriter said...

I've been trying to find blogs that relate to my niche. I haven't yet tried the Google or Twitter alerts approach. Thank you for this idea. Great reminder. I'm glad I read this post.

Sandra Beckwith said...

I'm glad it was helpful, Leigh Ann. Good luck!