I’d like to let you in on a secret most PR professionals don’t know:
Some of the easiest placement opportunities you’ll ever land for a
client or employer are found using one of the most common online
tools—Google. It’s completely under-appreciated as a PR tool.
Let me share a few specific details, so you can get clients more
visibility online. (By the way, you can stop leaning in now.) 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.
1. Use Google to identify where you can submit press releases, articles, and guest blog posts.
When you have a press release, do you ever consider 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 home community
in Scottsdale, Ariz., you might try the following searches:
• “submit news Scottsdale”;
• “submit your news az”;
• “submit news real estate”;
• “submit news new homes.”
You get the idea.
Searches are not case sensitive. Include the phrase in quotation marks,
though. If you don’t, Google will bring up results for each word in the
phrase, instead of ones exactly matching it.
You can also try “submit article” variations, if you want to place an
article or blog post. Also, Google “write for us,” “submit guest post,”
and other similar phrases. Sort through the results to see what applies
to your client and topic or industry. The searches may take a little
time to sleuth out the opportunities, but the overall process is very
2. Use Google’s “Search News” and “Blog Search” features.
If you click the “News” tab atop the Google homepage and perform a
search, such as “az new home sales,” it will automatically bring up the
latest news stories on new home sales in Arizona—or whatever other topic
you search. You can even customize the search period, which is
important if you want news in the last month, instead of the last 24
hours, for example.
Just think of the implications. 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.
Also, if you click the “More” tab atop the Google search page, and then “even more” in the drop down, you’ll find “Blog Search”—meaning whatever you put in that search field will bring up search results within blogs only.
Why is this beneficial? To identify guest blog post opportunities in a
certain industry or topic. Let’s say we were still working on that new
home builder client, and you wanted to find real estate blogs in
Arizona, or national real estate blogs covering Arizona real estate
news. This is where to do it.
3. Use Google Alerts to identify clips, comment opportunities, and fresh news.
Google Alerts enables
users to receive an email every time news about their client or company
hits the Internet. Most users set up alerts for the company name, stock
symbol, executive names, brand or product names, etc. It enables them to
capture a copy of the clip and monitor mentions.
One unlikely way to use Google Alerts for PR is to identify news
articles where your client or company can post a client comment. When a
news article hits that is relevant to your client—but the client isn’t
mentioned in the story—posting a comment is a great way to join the
You can set up alerts to email you immediately when news goes live. This
is important because you need to act quickly when posting comments, so
it isn’t lost.
This practice also helps you identify reporters that should be on your
media list. If they cover a topic relevant to your client, these
reporters should be evaluated and potentially added to your list.
One last thing: If your client has a blog post related to the news item
you are commenting on, include a link 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
What search-related tips and tactics do you use? Share them in the comments section.
Carrie Morgan is a digital PR, content marketing, and social media
consultant. A version of this story first appeared on her blog Rock the Status Quo.
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