Earlier this year, my friend and colleague Heather Whaling
turned me on to a new tool: Newsle
. For the uninitiated, Newsle is like Google Alerts for individuals and media hits. A great way for you to track friends, colleagues, competitors, and journalists who are in the news (or creating the news).
In essence, Newsle gives you a chance to track LinkedIn connections, folks in your email address book, and Facebook friends as they pop up in news stories and articles across the Web.
The best part is Newsle will send you an email with this information when your friends or colleagues are in the news, so you know about it as soon as they do (it seems).
Consider the following ways Newsle might help you and your PR efforts:
First, make sure you are monitoring yourself. While you might have Google Alerts set up—and those catch a lot—Newsle will spot all the blog posts and, more importantly, media outlets you show up in from day to day. It’s a nice combo-platter to monitor your reputation online.
Send a quick congrats to a friend or business partner
A few weeks ago, I an email alerted me to a short interview post featuring Jason DeRusha
, a reporter and weekend anchor with the CBS affiliate (WCCO-TV) in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I’ve met Jason a few times and while we’re not best friends, I’d like to think he remembers me and knows my name. After seeing the interview, I sent Jason a direct message on Twitter with a quick congrats on the article. Not a huge deal, but I want reporters and media folks like Jason to know my name (and trust me), so they’ll consider a pitch I send them.
Recognize stories by local and national journalists
Working on pitching the tech writer at The Wall Street Journal
? Get to know his writing by following him on Newsle first. You’ll see all the stories he or she writes, so you can familiarize yourself with the topics the reporter covers as well his or her style. Of course, you can do this by visiting the media outlet’s website or Googling the reporter (or by using paid media database tools), but by getting the reporter’s most recent stories in your email inbox, Newsle provides a free, effective, and timesaving avenue for such a project.
Keep an eye on your competitors
In the PR business, it pays to know what your competitors are up to. For me, I try to follow the moves of other solo consultants in the Twin Cities (where I live and work) as well as other small- to mid-sized agencies. Set a few Newsle alerts for your chief competitors, and you’ll find out the moment they pop up in articles about new business.
Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. He blogs at Communications Conversations, where a version of this article originally appeared.