How to Use LinkedIn with Google News Alerts

LinkedIn + Google News Alerts = Better-informed communication. This tip came from Liz Ryan, a workplace expert, author, and speaker, as one of her top ten ways of using LinkedIn. It has to do with using both sites as a business tool when you’re trying to reach out to an important potential business contact who you do not know. It works like this:

  1. Click the Advanced link next to the search box on the top of any LinkedIn page to bring up the Advanced People Search page.

  2. Fill in the appropriate fields to search for the name of a person at a company who is relevant to your situation, and with whom you would like to connect.

  3. Armed with the name that turned up in the results, set up a Google News Alert with the person’s name and the company name so that Google notifies you when that person is quoted or in the news.

When you go to Google’s Alerts page, you simply enter the person’s name and company name in the Search Query box, and then configure how you want Google to alert you by setting the Result Type, How Often, and How Many filters below the Search Query box.

Finally, you set the e-mail address you want the alerts to be sent to with the Your Email drop-down list. Click the Create Alert button, and you’re good to go!

When you receive a notice from Google News Alerts, you have a much better idea of what the person is working on as well as his impact at the company. This knowledge gives you an icebreaker you can use to strike up a conversation. Rather than send a random connection request, you can reference the person’s speech at the last XYZ Summit or agree with his last blog post.

You show initiative by doing the research, which can impress or flatter the contact and give you something to refer to when you talk about his accomplishments or innovations.

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Don’t overuse all this information you get when you contact the person, or he might think you’re a business stalker.

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