Google’s Byline Search a Boon to PR

Our newest sister blog Baynewser, explains this morning that Google News now has byline search functionality.

This is a big development for anyone responsible for media relations. Since Google came on to the scene, many of its products and approaches to information have helped PR people do their work–especially Google News and Google Alerts–and have in turn, quickened reaction time and made monitoring and client reporting easier, and cheaper.

Looking at a journalist’s byline history is an obvious strategy, yet it’s continually something that gets public relations people in to trouble. When pressed for time, account executives give in to temptation and skip their Lexis-Nexis research (an expensive product) and begin blasting out pitches. I’ve always argued that PR isn’t deteriorating, just that journalists now have new steam valves in which to out bad pitching and pushy publicists, seen in the early Tweets of AdWeek’s Brian Morrissey, for example.

Startups such as PRMatchPoint and HARO have taken different approaches to reducing PR spam.

Like the classic NBC PSAs say, “the more you know”.

Older companies like and services like Lexis, Profnet, Cision, and Vocus may see their subscribership deteriorate–even though they’re constantly improving and innovating–as Google and others develop free products.

Byline history was available on Google News all along, though not hyperlinked, and not available in search window functionality. The former allows you to track a journalist even if they change jobs. The tea leaves get harder to read if you choose to do an Archives search.

Information on how to use Google Byline and a screenshot (courtesy of BayNewser) of a typical search are after the jump:

Click on a byline hyperlink next to a specific story, or drop the phrase author:”Firstname Lastname” –eg: author: “Marisa Lagos” (and don’t forget the quotes)—into the Search box, and up pops a list of articles by that author.