Free Publicity or Keeping Tabs on Competitor for Free

 In Business, Competition, Marketing, Publicity

Google has a very helpful service which can help you get more publicity or keep tabs on your competitor. And the best part it’s FREE!

It’s like a having an media clipping service which scrutinizes both the web and Google News database, then sends you an email as soon as something you’re interested in appears in the search results.

For instance, let’s say you’re a big fan of “Star Wars”. You can set up a Google Alert for
“Star Wars”. Then whenever Google finds any mentioned in a top news story or on the web, you’ll get an email including the web site address so you can go see where
and how “Star Wars” is mentioned.

To set up your own Google Alerts for free, just go to (read further down for using this service and its paid alternative).

The exciting thing is you can use this service to grow your business in all sorts of ways.

Some of the obvious ways to use it include setting up alerts to see what others are saying about you online, ‘discover’ what they saying about your competitors, find out about new developments in your field of expertise and/or discover some other prominent with whom you might want to ally yourself in some way.

This service is also one of the best publicity tools ever created and it’s FREE! Here are three tips to use Google Alerts to get media exposure:

Obtain IMMEDIATELY publicity by tying-in with breaking news stories.

One of the best and easiest ways to get FREE publicity is to be able to comment on what’s already in the news. For instance, one of my clients, Gerry Robert, book writing coach, wealth expert and author of Millionaire Mindset.

One of the strategies we employ whenever an alert pops up having to deal Wealth, Book Writing, Economy somewhere in America or Canada, you need to contact newspapers and radio/TV shows in that city immediately and let them know you can comment on what’s happening.

Robert then asked, ‘But how will I know when a related story hits the news?’

My answer: “Google Alerts.”

The results will blow you away!

Building friendships with media contact who discuss your topic.

Another of my clients, Patrick Snow, also uses Google Alerts service in a very systematic way to get publicity.

Here’s what Patrick does: First he set up alerts to track stories written on his area of expertise, which is Success, Selling and Families.

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 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 Patrick mentions his website to reinforce his credibility.

If the journalist writes him back and thanks him for his comments, Patrick 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.

Patrick Snow has made the front cover of USA Today and multiple TV/Radio interviews.

The Hook is more than Book

Authors are always asking me about a good ‘hook’ or angle should be when approaching the media. I’ll immediately ask them, “What hooks have others used in your industry?”

Usually they don’t know, but by using Google Alerts (or even just searching the Google News database at you can quickly find video clips, articles in which others with similar expertise are quoted.

For example, let’s say you’ve written a book about Selling. Suppose also that you’re based in Houston. One day you discover a story in the New York Times about Selling in the New Economy. Well, if it’s newsworthy in New York, 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.

Here are a few words of advice on implementing this strategy:

Use quotation marks to narrow your alerts, for instance, I have an alert set up for Bert Martinez and because he’s not the only person in the world with that name, I was getting a lot of off-target alerts. Every time Bert or Martinez pop up I received an alert by using “Bert Martinez” it allows be to receive more exact searches.

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