I’d like to let you in on a secret that most PR pros don’t think of: some of the easiest placement opportunities you’ll EVER land for a client (or your employer) are found using the most common online tool you can think of.
It’s completely under-appreciated as a PR tool.
Let me share a few specific details, so you can get your company or your clients more business online.
After all, when you do things that other PR pros don’t think of doing, or don’t know to do, it puts you that much further ahead of the game, right? It’s a win for you and for your clients.
1. Use Google to Identify Where You Can Submit Press Releases, Articles, and Guest Blog Posts
Every time you have a press release, have you ever thought about investing a few hours searching for places to manually post your news?
Simply doing a Google search for “submit press release” or “submit news” can bring up an amazing number of opportunities. Be sure to try a variety of different searches to see what comes up, including the name of your city, industry and/or product category.
For example, if you have a press release announcing a new housing community in Scottsdale, Arizona, you might try the following searches: “submit news scottsdale,” “submit your news az,” “submit news real estate,” “submit news new homes”, etc. You get the idea.
Note: Searches are not case sensitive but be sure and include the phrase in quotation marks. If you don’t, Google will bring up results for each word in the phrase, instead of ones exactly matching the phrase.
You can also try “submit article” variations, if you want to place an article or blog post. Be sure to Google “write for us,” “submit guest post” and other similar phrases.
Sort through the results to see what applies to your client and topic/industry. The searches may take a little time to sleuth the opportunities out, but the overall process is very simple.
2. Use Google’s “Search News” and “Blog Search” Features
When is the last time you looked at the black toolbar at the top of the Google search page? Many never even notice these links, because their primary need is for the general search tool in the center of the page.
This is a high value tab for public relations and should not be overlooked.
If you click the “NEWS” tab and do a search, such as “az new home sales”, it will automatically bring up the latest news stories on new home sales in Arizona.
You can even customize the search period – important if you want news from the last month, instead of the last 24 hours, for example.
Just think of the implications for a minute. With a two-second search, you can:
- Identify trending local or national news on your client’s industry, product, or service
- See what has already been covered by reporters
- Keep track of your client’s competitors to see who is getting coverage
- Spot article opportunities to post an opinion or thought-leadership comment on behalf of your client
Here is another song on the same playlist – if you click on the “MORE” tab, you can scroll down and select “BLOG SEARCH”. Whatever you put in that search field will bring up search results only within blogs.
Be sure not to select “Blogger” – select “Blog Search” instead under the “Specialized Search” category towards the bottom of the page.
Why is this beneficial? To identify guest blog post opportunities in a certain industry or topic.
Say we were still working on that new home builder client and wanted to find real estate blogs in Arizona or national real estate blogs covering Arizona real estate news. This is where to do it. It’s fantastic.
3. Use Google Alerts To Identify Clips, Comment Opportunities and Fresh News
This last tool is something more people know about: Google Alerts. It’s typically used so that you get an email every time news about your client hits the Internet.
Most set up alerts for the company name, stock symbol, executive names, brand or product names, etc. It allows them to capture a copy of the clip and monitor mentions. (Learn to set up Google Alerts here – it is also under the “More> Specialized Search” area.)
However, most PR pros don’t think to use alerts in another way: to identify news articles where they can post a client comment. When a news article hits that is relevant to your client and you aren’t taking part in it, posting a comment is a great way to join the conversation.
You can set up alerts to email you immediately when news goes live. This is important because you need to act VERY quickly when posting comments, so they aren’t lost in the buzz.
It also helps you identify specific reporters that should be on your media list. If they cover a topic relevant to your client, then they should be evaluated and potentially added to your list.
If your client has a blog post related to the news item you are commenting on, be sure and include a hyperlink back to that post, so readers can learn more about the same topic or continue the conversation. You can even create a custom post for the specific opportunity and topic BEFORE you post the comment if you can act fast enough to get it through your approval channels.
Unfortunately, Google Alerts are rumored to be removed from the Google lineup of products, but there are many other tools that offer similar functionality for free or at a low cost that you can consider if Google Alerts goes away.
I hope you find these ideas helpful. After all, who doesn’t want to provide their clients with better results, more coverage – all with less time invested? It’s a no-brainer that makes YOU look like a total rock star!
What search-related tips and tactics do you love to use?