As Seen On:
Hacking Google Alerts for Publicity
(How to Write Press Releases That Aren’t a Waste of Time & Money)
Written by Debbie Horovitch, Book Publishing & Author Promotions Fairy Godmother
If your website SEO (search engine optimization) matters at all to you, you’ll want to read this post, bookmark it, and download the PDF tip sheet at the end!

Since the beginning of time, storytellers and documentarians (book authors) have been the MOST influential and compelling people to surround yourself with, in any field. Journalists and media channels are a reflection of their audience, and including book authors in media channels is a sure way to extend your media channel brand, audience, and advertising inventory (audience).

A lot of people don’t consider sending press releases worthwhile in their book business, because they’ve been through the roller coaster of emotions, hopes and dreams associated with paying $500-$1000+ to have their message (news release) distributed far & wide, and found that in the end, it didn’t benefit them one bit. 

It really was a waste of time and money.

I want to help you avoid that experience, and even discover how you can write news releases for your business that CAN WORK to generate more publicity for your business message, so you can have more credibility & authority on all your branded business elements (by showing the media logos “As seen on”), and even generate a stream of new customers willing to pay a premium and make an effort to work with you.

These days, press releases, or news releases as they’re also called, are not just meant for the media channels and their journalists, they’re meant for everyone. 

Everyone who is a media channel of their own name, brand, business, service, every blogger, IG influencer, podcast host, affiliate marketer, or livestreamer who is creating content for their niche audience, is a prospect as a potential publicity channel for your book!

Especially during the "holiday" season (from Back to School, through Thanksgiving, Black Friday / Cyber Monday, and December Holidays), it’s not that difficult to get a few local professionals who want to keep your business relationship firm, or strengthened, to get them as readers, reviewers, and potentially buying 15+ copies of your book to give away as client gifts in advance of the holidays.

In The “Olden Days” Of News Reporting
15+ years ago a lot more full-time staff journalists were “investigative reporters”; being assigned a subject matter by their editor in chief, and learning everything about the subject from everyone relevantly involved, before writing their piece - on deadline and to specific word counts. 

Everyday, throughout the day, the newsroom fax machine hooked up to the network newsfeeds would spit out a mess of press releases, issued by one or two central news faxes, to their office AND EVERY other media channel. 

The fax newsfeed offered an almost overwhelming source of subjects and experts the journalists could cover, and these press releases were mostly issued by medium and large-size companies that were of “newsworthy” size.

And unless you knew a mass media editor or journalist personally and had their contact info, the only way you could hope of getting your business name mentioned in relation to a particular subject in the media, would be to invest in a press release or a publicist, or to do something so compelling to the news channels, that they’ll cover it despite your small size or newly established brand.

(Standard rates for <475 words press release distributed is around $900 for USA and Canada from most places. They’re all pretty much the same, so if you can find a deal on the price of distribution, even for a volume buy, take it! You can write your own news release or hire someone like me to write them for you.)

Journalists could search the internet, but it wasn’t anywhere near the de facto research resource that it is today. 

In order to find people who were experts on their assigned subject (that was associated with a deadline, for their paycheque), they’d have to “put the rubber to the road” and find relevant people to quote for their article, through old-fashioned, in-person networking and investigative work.

The quality of the quotes, and uniqueness of the images they got for their channel, were a big factor in their career opportunities both day-to-day and overall. 

Google To The Rescue! Now Everyone’s a Media Channel & Reporter!
These days, Google is stop #1 for every media reporter big and small, and all the news release distribution firms simply post the submitted news releases to THEIR OWN WEBSITE (where it is further syndicated to their network of news channel websites), and in minutes it’s listed on Google, with increasing authority for your URLs, as news websites affiliated with mass TV networks, sometimes numbering thousands, syndicate (post a copy of) the same release. 

These news websites are considered high-authority by Google because of their affiliation to the network news sites ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, etc., so there is SEO (search engine optimization) value returned to your website links, in addition to only posting your news release to your own website.

These magical hacks will help your press releases get noticed by the people who matter, regardless of where you post (the more places you can legitimately post, the more FREE Google SEO and awareness you’ll experience)!

Know what they know, see what they see.

If you want people to be able to find you on Google, start Googling your name and primary keywords, and seeing any gaps in the content being created for consumers (they’re both your prospective clients, and media channel consumers of the content you'll be creating, to introduce them to how you can help solve their problems).

Google Alerts
Recognizing Google for what it is (global news alerts), sign yourself up for Google Alerts

Now you’ll receive a customized news report from Google search (the whole searchable web), giving you headlines and links to the new web pages posted that include your most-relevant keywords:
- Your name, business/brand names and team names
- Your competitors business/brand/executive names
- The generic product or service pronoun you are most concerned with 
- Keywords of the problem or known solution people type into Google
- The media channels you want to keep an eye on for your own publicity opportunities

Now that you’ll be as informed as you choose about ALL the goings-on in your competitive category, you’ll be more informed as to who are the best people to reach out to, and the best timing to reach out to them, to offer your story for inclusion in their article/content.

How Often Should You Send News Releases?
Issue news releases more frequently - since you can’t include more than 5 links, 1 image, and 1 video you’ll want to issue frequent news releases to ensure you’re covering everyone who is creating content about each of your keywords, with this strategy.

Sending News Releases With The Tone “Look What You Missed Out On” Creates "Fear Of Missing Out" Urgency In Your Low-Hanging Fruit
The people who are actively searching Google for your unique & specific subject matter expertise to bring into the conversation - they will rarely be able to actually attend any in-person or 1-time-only scheduled events, so you want to create a sense of urgency for them to reach out to you and find out whether there’s a good time to feature you in their media channel, based on their editorial calendar.

Also, don’t get it twisted thinking if you simply send a news release that anyone will care about your event or link, and that people (especially journalists) will show up to your event, or click through to your website. 

This has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with how Google searches work.
People search Google for topics based on keywords, and Google sends traffic to the "top" PageRank search results websites. The top pages see the majority of organic clicks, and the rest usually get none, but the amount of traffic you get (consistently, and monthly), is dependant on your ranking. When you post a new blog post, or press release, or article, or book on Amazon, that unique link now ranks and competes with your other content links for search results clicks (traffic).

The way the universe works with Google is you post your content & keywords as soon as you can, as early as you can in your life, about a subject that you want to be referred to in the media when they’re doing a story on that topic. Then at some time in the future you might get called upon for a business opportunity, publicity opportunity, etc, or more likely you’ll get a Google Alert some day to YOUR NAME where some media channel quoted you, from your press release. 

Traffic should be relatively reliable on a monthly basis, keeping up your keyword SEO authority of new content - peaking or dipping for seasons, trends, and mass advertising campaigns; rarely will you see a RUSH of new traffic after posting a new blog post or press release. (Strategically written thought-leadership articles, however, CAN create a rush of new traffic upon publishing them with your byline). 

The NEWS RELEASE standard format signals to media channels they can TAKE & SHARE your branded content immediately without changes, without further approval, if they want. 

When this tactic works you’ll notice one day in your Google Alerts, that a quote you gave in a news release or on another interview at some point a few months ago, was reused in another public media channel, citing you again.

You can also take responsibility for creating the results you want here, by reverse-engineering your being featured in their media channel: Google search for “editorial calendars” and the keywords of your subject and reach out to the media channels well in advance (check the advertising rate cards for deadlines), with an offer of your content. 

Editorial calendars are included in the advertising media kit, so that paying advertisers in the same category can schedule their media dollars to coincide with the media channel creating & actively promoting their content to grow their audiences.

To help you REALLY fill your news releases with quotable tidbits and polarizing opinion, download a copy of this 5-point PDF with LOADS of hidden audiences you can leverage for new media and exposure.

PDF: 5 Ways To News Hacking Your Black Book of Connections

This PDF gives you 5 main sources for hidden news lists and audiences (media channels), that you can access and enjoy as potential readers and buyers for your books. 

Debbie Horovitch

I am a Fairy Godmother helping storytellers become published and bestsellers!
If you've been inspired to write a book, then you owe it to yourself to get it published, and promoted to become a bestselling book, so you can enjoy the rest of your life enjoying the title Bestselling Book Author. If you're ready to get your book published and/or promoted to become a verifiable bestseller, definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.
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