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Use Breaking News to Build Buzz for Your Business These three steps will help.

By Small Business PR

This story originally appeared on PR Newswire's Small Business PR Toolkit

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We are living in an age where you have more outlets than ever before to get your news: on your television, on your computer, on the radio, in the newspaper, and on your phone. But did you know that you can use breaking news to promote your book or business? If a certain news story is within your area of expertise, you can join the conversation using the techniques I've laid out below to identify opportunities, join the conversation, and pitch yourself to the media. The next time you get a breaking news alert, you'll be ready to join the conversation and start pitching.

Identify opportunities

Media Alerts: Make sure you always have your keywords in alert systems like Talkwalker.com or Mention.net. This way you will always be alerted when someone is discussing your area of expertise. During non-breaking news times, this is a good way to get to know media that covers your story and network with them, so that when a breaking story hits, they already know you.

Make Connections: Before you start pitching the media, it's important to get to know them, and you can do this in a variety of ways, both online and off. Online, you can connect on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to connect with any local and national reporters, radio personalities, and journalists. You can get the conversation started with a comment on their stories (whether it's on their own site or on their media site) and on postings via Twitter and Facebook.

Offline, another great way to make connections is by attending events where you know you might meet some media folk. Attending the same event is a great way to start a dialog or relationship with the media.

Join the conversation

Twitter: The first thing you should do is to log on to Twitter and join the conversation via the hashtag (or hashtags) that are being used. You can find these easily by doing a search. Posting to the hashtags, maybe even referencing your post could be a great way to drive consumer and media interest to your topic and your blog. Keep in mind that the media is on Twitter and they just might find you!

Blog about it: Next, make sure to share your expertise with your readership. A blog is a great place to share your opinion on the subject and even (when appropriate) offer a solution to your readers. Once you've written your blog post, you need to share it. Be sure to add links on all your social sites and use the hashtag(s) identified with this story to help pull more eyes to your post.

But what if you don't have an active blog? You can still join the conversation! Check out the conversations that are happening on some high-traffic blogs and start posting your viewpoint. At the very least, you could get some traffic back to your site. You could even make some great connections!

Contact the media

Local media: One of the best ways to get local media interested in you is to offer them a local angle on a national story. Let's say we're addressing the fear of traveling to the South America, or perhaps protecting yourself against ID theft, these are both good stories to spin locally if you have the expertise.

National media: If you have a subject that's drawing national attention and your message is significant or different enough to pitch to a national show, then get out there and start pitching. Remember: with so many shows on the air all competing for audience attention they're all looking for a new and different angle.

Now that you know how to identify opportunities to join the conversation, you now have the tools to use breaking news to build buzz for your book or business. Stay tuned, because next time, we'll talk about how to best pitch the media once you've identified those breaking news stories and are ready to contact the media.

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