You probably don’t even know about them. Few people do.
Even fewer people realize how many different ways you can
use them to get free publicity, increase your search engine
rankings, and make yourself a media celebrity in your field.
I’m talking about “news alerts.”
Google offers Google News Alerts at www.news.google.com.
Look in the column to the left of the page.
Yahoo has a similar service, as do a number of other web
portals and news outlets.
News alerts are the Internet’s new — and one of its most
powerful — secrets weapons for attracting attention from
radio, TV and newspaper reporters.
You can sign up for news alerts for free. Then you choose
keywords related to your industry, and whenever those keywords
show up in a news story–practically anywhere–you get an
email notification and a link to the story..
News alerts allow you to identify and contact the journalist
who did the story to suggest a follow up, offer another
angle, etc. on the story they’ve already done.
You can even set up news alerts for a competitor’s name. If
they’re quoted in a story somewhere, you’ll be notified by
email. That gives you an opportunity to contact the reporter
who wrote the story and position yourself as a future
resource for similar pieces.
You can also set up your news alerts so that every time your
name appears in the media, it sends you an email
It¡¯s a great way to find out when your news releases, tip
sheets, or articles have been published. This can be
extremely valuable since people who print your
stuff don¡¯t always let you know they¡¯re doing it.
Furthermore, when you find out that something by you or
about you has been published, you can get copies or
reprints to use in a multitude of ways to further establish
your credentials with the media.
For instance, you can print out stories you may want to
include in your media kit, or even mail to journalists to
reassure them that your topic really IS newsworthy–
and that you indeed ARE an expert in your field.
I got quite a giggle — and a little bit of a shock — when
I set up a news alert for my own name recently.
I got an alert from Google a few days later telling me the
name “George McKenzie” had appeared in a Scottish TV
When I clicked on the link, I found out it wasn’t really
about me–it was about a Scottish lawyer named Sir George
McKenzie, an advisor to King Charles the Second 300 years
I won’t give you the details here — a little too gruesome
for a family friendly article. But you can read it if you
choose by clicking on
News alerts are one of the Internet’s most important
developments for helping people get the attention of the
They’re free, easy, versatile, valuable, and best of
all–your competitors probably don’t have a clue they exist.
For more information on how to use news alerts to identify
reporters who are already doing stories about your
industry, go to