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3 Alternatives to Google Alerts

PR Toolbox: Breaking up (with Google Alerts) Isn’t That Hard to Do

[Ed-note: Meet the newest addition to the PR Couture family: Tribe Dynamics, a technology start up out of San Francisco. As part of an ongoing partnership, we're teaming up to share recent news in the fashion + technology space, as well as and helpful tips and tools. This first installment gives you an intro into the company itself as its services relate to your PR needs. Enjoy! - Crosby]

Hey Google Alerts, It Is You, Not Me...

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but here goes: Google Alerts is no longer a PR girl's best beau for capturing client mentions across the web. Over the past couple of months, companies and individual users have experienced problems and even filed complaints with Google, only to receive a less-than satisfying: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are currently looking into this issue and will have a resolution shortly." (Enter obnoxious Jeopardy music and a resounding “whomp”)...

And while the end of Google Alerts is mere speculation at this point, this is your career we are talking about: not to mention the success of your PR agency and a reflection of your personal aptitude for staying on top of your target community's activity, needs, and interests. With the high volume of complaints and rumors circulating the web, including The Financial Brand's Open Letter to Google, in which they retract their endorsement of the tool calling it "useless" and "unreliable", we think it's safe to say that Google Alerts are not worth the time or the risk. Instead, check out these three Google Alert alternatives that are primed to help you do a better job tracking client successes.

Talk This Way

The most popular alternative to Google Alerts is the free service Talkwalker Alerts. Simple and straightforward, registration takes seconds. Similar to what you're used to, searches can be filtered to provide from all-inclusive results to just blogs and discussions. And, you can still get alerted instantly or just once a day via email.

Pro: Shifting to Talkwalker Alerts is easy because it allows you to import your current Google Alerts! If you’re a small brand looking for the to get most major mentions, they’re on it.

Con: You get what you pay for. While Talkwalker is a good stand-bye, there's no reporting or extensive targeting options.

Works well for: Small brands that are not commanding a ton of share of voice, or actively generating a ton of earned media, but want a general sense of when the brand is mentioned.

Get Con-NET-cted

If Google Alert's reliability has you rethinking your entire client tracking process, consider Netvibes. an ultra-personalized dashboard that allows you to not only monitor client mentions, but to publish social media updates. Part tracking tool, part analytics program, Netvibes lets you dive deep into the analytics, as well as create customized dashboards for client presentations and general reporting.

Pro:  Netvibes generates extensive reporting and analytics across a variety of social media platforms with real-time updates so that you and your team are always on top of the latest brand buzz.

Con: Outside of the free trial, the premium service for brand monitoring with social analytics costs a whopping $499/month per client, which can be cost prohibitive for some agencies and most individual practitioners..

Works well for: Perfect for larger companies with enough social chatter happening outside of PR outreach, as well as particularly data-driven clients or number-hungry executives.

Your brand’s ambassadors are people, not just numbers. Shouldn’t your social media monitoring account for their unique needs and preferences?

Join the Tribe

Sure, what you had with Google Alerts worked well for a long time. But your needs as a savvy publicist have matured. With increased client expectations to prove ROI, the sheer mix of media, as well as the influential social customer, it makes sense to invest in tools that thoroughly measure and capture your efforts across the board, as well as provide an easy way to track your pitching. With these trends in mind, we created Tribe Dynamics to help PR folks easily manage and measure media outreach as well as social chatter. If you click that link, we've put together a special offer just for PR Couture readers, and we'd love to hear your feedback on what we've created.

Pro: Tribe Dynamics is easy to use (creative non-techie folk approved!), with built-in reporting that's almost, well, pretty. Plus we're affordable for everyone from freelance publicists to agency owners. Our paid version starts at $99/Month.

Con:It is difficult to talk poorly about yourself, but we’ll give it a try. Our initial focus is in  digital health, beauty, and fashion, so our media contact database won’t be useful if you’re in other industries or looking for traditional press contacts.

Works well for: Aside from lovers of long romantic walks on the beach and luxurious picnic spreads, Tribe is a perfect match for medium to larger brands and PR agencies looking to tie the knot and put a ring on a successful earned media campaign. And yes, we've been waiting to roll out that last line since we started this article.

For other social listening software solutions, you can also check out radian6, datasift, and Brandwatch.

What are you currently using to monitor digital mentions? What are you looking for that your current solution doesn't provide?

About Christina
LA native Christina Goswiller traded palm trees for the Stanford tree, where she studied political science and graduated with honors in 2012. She is currently living in San Francisco, and aside from her love for fashion and technology, enjoys traveling, painting, blogging, and exploring the city. Connect with Christina at Christina[at]tribedynamics.com or the team @TribeDynamics

About the author: Christina Goswiller


LA native Christina Goswiller traded palm trees for the Stanford tree, where she studied political science and graduated with honors in 2012. Since her move to San Francisco, she has fallen in love with the entrepreneurial spirit of the startup world. Christina is particularly interested in the growing importance of technology within the fashion industry, which she follow through her work with Tribe Dynamics.

8 Comments

  • Posted April 22, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    So excited to continue working with you Crosby, as well as the rest of the PR Couture team and the PR Couturians! I’ve had a fantastic time following your posts and can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us.

    I hope that we can help everyone who follows you to achieve their dreams and if anyone ever needs any help that I can provide, please don’t hesitate to email or call me directly, conor@tribedynamics.com.

    Hope everyone has a fantastic Monday :)

  • Marissa
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    These look like awesome tools, thanks for sharing!

  • Christina Goswiller
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Thank you Crosby for the opportunity to be featured on PR Couture’s STELLAR site! I’m looking forward to learning as much as possible from your expertise as we continue to work together on this series. We all have something to learn from your passion and commitment to Fashion PR which is so apparent in all of your work for this site and your writing. Cannot wait for further inspiration!

  • Posted April 23, 2013 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Hey Christina, congrats on partnering up with PR Couture! This is a really great post :) I noticed you didn’t mention Synthesio among your list of additional software solutions. Have you tried us out yet? We’re a very strong option for larger brands interested in global listening. We provide full global monitoring and geographic segmentation in 190+ countries and 50 languages. We also cover international sites like Renren, Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, Orkut, Youku and more.
    Let me know if you’d like some more info :)

    Looking forward to more great PR Couture/Tribe content in the future.

    Julie Meredith (Marketing Manager, Synthesio) julie(at)synthesio(dot)com

  • Lauren Applebaum
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I am somewhat surprised (and also slightly disappointed) to hear about these issues with Google Alerts…it was one of my go-to resources. It seems that every day a new platform becomes available for monitoring, tracking and measuring social media. There are resources that simultaneously monitor various platforms such as Radian6, Cision and Sysomos and others that are specific to a platform such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Crowdbooster. While some are free, others can be rather costly. However, as mentioned above sometimes you get what you pay for. I am excited to further explore more of these tools…budget permitting of course!

  • Posted May 9, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Google alerts have become the nets’ new worst enemy. Over the past months, companies and individual users have experienced problems and have even filed complaints with google. With this topic being everything my future career is talking about, a huge success of a PR agency and a reflection of our personal aptitudes for staying on top of your target community’s activity, and voice; the PR Couture blog has given us three great google alternatives to use now: TalkWalker Alerts, Netvibes and Tribe Dynamics.

    I totally agree with these three alternatives. I personally have learned to navigate Netvibes in my PR and AD Research class, and this one site helps you track a lot of different information from your clients versus tracking info thru multiple sites.

    Another reason why this blog is helpful is because PR agents love to find out about new fun useful tools!

  • Posted May 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for your praise, Jessica! We hope that our tool (as well as the others mentioned) can we be useful for you and others in their careers moving forward.

    If anyone ever has any questions, we are more than happy to help.

    Conor and the Tribe Dynamics Team

  • Posted February 3, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Hi Christina, to keep you updated on our product: Talkwalker Alerts are now also available on HootSuite! To try it out yourself, simply install the Talkwalker Alerts app on HootSuite to monitor and share content the fastest way in one single platform. More info at http://bit.ly/1aW01hb – let me know how it works for you :)

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Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, the founder of PR Couture and a fashion brand strategist. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixer sessions or shoot me a note.