by Paul J. Krupin
Did you know that you now have access to some of the world’s most powerful online electronic clipping tools?
They are called News Search Engines.
You can use them to dramatically improve your success with the media.
News search engines are specialized search engines that visit news sites from all over the Internet and use computer algorithms to select stories for inclusion.
They then cluster the stories and photos into an online magazine format. As the news changes the news search engines keep you informed of the latest developments.
They allow you to search the latest news stories from hundreds to thousands of news sources.
Some of them also allow you to create special news alerts, which send you an email message every time a news story comes out on your special topic or keywords of interest.
This is very powerful and useful technology and at least for right now, it’s free.
Let’s explore these and find out how you can use them to get more publicity for your business.
The Top News Search Engines include the following:
Google News http://news.google.com/
Yahoo News http://news.yahoo.com/
Alta Vista News http://www.altavista.com/news/
All the Web News http://www.alltheweb.com/
MSN News http://msnbc.msn.com/
There are many more news search engines available. Some of them are wide-ranging and general and cover a range of topics such as politics, business, finance, health, computers, sports, and entertainment.
Others are country specific, and have been organized to present news of interest to people with an interest in that country.
Still others are topic specific and focus on presenting the news associated with a particular topic (e.g., search engines).
Most of the news search engines search capability is limited to a short time window. The archives give you searchable access to stories that are found on web sites up to two weeks to one month ago.
Some of the news search engines allow you to customize the news sources you select from. Others operate like a meta-search engines.
What’s really cool is what you get to do with the news search engines. You can:
1. Read the headlines and watch for late breaking news – you can see fresh news articles within minutes of them being released. The news search engines constantly re-fresh themselves and update with new information constantly. It’s just like a newspaper or a magazine, only here the sources are from all over the world.
2. Browse categories of news by subject. You can page down to a category and find out the latest news and information about that topic.
3. See news releases released by other companies on the topics you care about.
Perhaps most important is the search capability that allows you to:
4. Search keywords and slice and dice your news feed on your favorite topics.
5. You can create news alerts on these topics or keywords to keep you instantly informed of new stories.
You can search and find information on a wide number of critical topics. It is up to you to identify your key words. This is a fine art because if your search words are too general you will get way too many stories each day to be useful to you.
You want critical business intelligence.
In the world of publishing this means finding out what has been published on topics that can affect your business. These include:
The events and issues that affect what you do to make money
The technologies you use or care about
For each of these, create a list of the keywords that you can use to return articles and news stories of interest to you.
The stories you want to focus on are those that tell you how you can position your next news release for maximum exposure. These are stories that reveal how the media covers your topic. They tell you “Do this” and “Don’t do that”.
When you read the articles pay particular attention to the type of news coverage you see. You peruse this to develop ideas and a strategy for getting news coverage for your project.
For example, one of my clients is a chiropractor and book author looking to get news coverage that improves the number of clients who call her for treatment.
Obviously she wants to grow her business and sell books as well.
If you use a news search engine you search on the words:
This is just one example. You can select keywords to fit your particular needs anytime on any topic.
If you are a cookbook author, you will want to search on the words:
Using quotation marks will often make a big difference:
If you search on the key words “book author” without quotation marks you will get over 10,000 results.
If you place the words “book author” in quotation marks, you get 186 results, and every one of them has the words “book author” in sequence.
If you place the words “travel book” in quotation marks, you get 36 results, but without it you get 3,960 results.
If you place the words “business book” in quotation marks, you get 65 results, but without it you get 12,900 results.
So using quotation marks is a very powerful technique for zeroing in on the results you want.
Using a minus sign is also a very powerful search technique.
In some cases, there will be a glut of articles on a given subject, which appears to totally occupy most of the media coverage. You use the minus sign in front of the keyword that identifies the offending term to eliminate articles containing the problem word.
So if you wanted to get the latest information on “search engine” but had to avoid all the articles about the Google IPO you’d use the keywords:
“search engine” -Google
This allows you to get the news behind the news.
These keywords bring back articles. The articles can now be analyzed. They are very instructive. They show how the media has covered your search topic in the past two weeks to a month. There is a range of articles.
Study them. These articles very clearly tell you what you should write about and what you should not write about. They provide you with the ability to develop a public relations strategy for your key area of interest.
You can see hard news that covers criminal issues, frauds, scandals, and lawsuits. While these are interesting reading, these are not the topics that you wish use to emulate in your news releases (unless of course, you are studying them to determine what not to say or do).
You can also see feature stories, events, and positive helpful tips articles and news about practitioners and authors. These are the articles you want to highlight and use as success stories for your own news releases.
Save the good ones: bookmark them, print them, place them in a three rig binder, and build up a file that you can use for ideas and strategic guidance.
Note the similarity in how certain types of articles are written. Media across the nation tend to use common writing styles and presentation formats when they write about things. This is a powerful bit of intelligence.
What this means is that you can maximize your chances by paying attention to what they do. This is because you will increase your success if you give them information that fits within their existing style, format and content.
Basically you are seeking to follow in the footsteps of those who have been successful before you.
The articles provide a publicist (or someone acting as a publicist) with the intelligence they need to create news releases that have the greatest possibility of success when they try to get news coverage.
The nature and type of articles published by the media tells you how you should present your news if you are to be “in the ballpark” and not “outside the ballpark”.
Obviously, you do not want to be so creative that you are “outside the ballpark”.
You can then use The 3 I Technique to write a news release. Your goal is to write a news release that closely resembles the finished article. Here are the three key steps:
1.. Identify a success story 2.. Imitate the story 3.. Innovate with your own information.
You start with the headline. You look at the article and then you identify the number of words and the type of words used. Then you imitate it. Finally you tailor it to your own facts and objectives and goals.
Then you analyze the article. If there are five paragraphs you plan on creating your own five-paragraph article. Of course, it will ultimately be about you. For every paragraph, you will write your own paragraph.
Go through each sentence, analyze it, then write your own. You do this sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph.
Go all the way through the article.
By the time you are done you have nearly matched the article format, organization, and length. Now you modify it, and revise it and refine it to make it your own.
When you are through you add the words “For Immediate Release” and your Contact name and phone at the top.
At the bottom, make sure you use a media call to action, where you offer additional information – a good reason and incentive for the media to call you and open the door to news coverage.
So if you are a publisher, create a list of the five to ten critical news search engine key words you need to:
1.. monitor the news and development of your key areas of interest 2.. monitor the news coverage of your books and authors 3.. identify stories to give you ideas
Search on them regularly.
You can use news search engines to stay abreast of the news that affects your business.
You can use the articles you find to give you ideas and help you write better news releases and get more news coverage.
Here is one last little idea to save you time. Once you run a key word search at a news search engine, you can click on the file button in windows and send the page to your desktop. That way, you can return to the search with one double click from your desktop.
If you use these techniques I will predict that you will have a much easier time getting publicity.
Give it a try. Use news search engines and the 3 I Technique together.
And if you do use these techniques and write a news release – I’d like to see it. Feel free to send it to me via email and I will be happy to provide you with comments.
Paul J. Krupin Targeted Publicity, Copywriting, Strategies & More. IMEDIAFAX – The Internet to Media Fax Service Transmits your news releases to custom targeted media lists via fax and e-mail
Direct Contact 1-800-457-8746