Controlling Your Google Results: The Art and Science of the Personal Press Release

Brand Yourself AsCareer DevelopmentPersonal BrandingSuccess Strategies

Problem: Googling your name doesn’t accurately reflect who you are or what you do.

Solution: Issue a personal press release about a recent accomplishment or noteworthy event to fill Google results for your name with relevant, on-brand content.

1. Choose a topic

First, decide on a newsworthy event or accomplishment you will announce, such as:

  1. Launching a new website
  2. Receiving an award, honor or recognition
  3. Starting a new business
  4. Speaking at an event
  5. Offering a free eBook, newsletter or white paper
  6. Giving a workshop or seminar
  7. Providing pro bono work

2. Write your press release

I wrote the example press release in the gray box for a fictional job applicant named John Stamos looking to control his Google results. Use it as inspiration and follow these steps in writing your release:

  1. Write a headline and sub-headline that summarizes your news
  2. Include your location and the current date
  3. State the event: you launched your website, you received an award, etc.
  4. Write in the third person as if you were a reporter describing the event
  5. Include a quote from yourself
  6. Signify the end of your main content with three pound signs “###” (traditional press release formatting)
  7. Add a short bio written in the third person with your full name spelled out (so it can be found when your name is Googled)
  8. Conclude with your contact info and a link to your website, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles

3. Submit your press release

Now that your press release is written and links to your main sites, it’s time to get it published across the web. Submit your press release to these five free high-ranking newswires:
Every time you submit a press release that links to your website, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, Google sees those links as a “vote” that your profiles should show up closer to the top of results. The more votes you build, the higher your sites rise to the top of search results for your name. Use your press release to boost your main profiles closer to the top of search results.

4. The next step

Once you’ve submitted your press release, you should make sure you’re effectively building a visible and professional personal brand across the web. From here, I recommend reading my personal brand audits, which walk you through the process of building a remarkable online presence:
  1. Visibility Audit
  2. LinkedIn Audit
  3. Twitter Audit
  4. Facebook Audit
  5. Google Audit

Good luck and have fun! I’d love to hear your comments below: what do you think about the idea of submitting personal press releases? Does it make you uncomfortable? Do you think it would be difficult to find something to write about? Are you having trouble deciding whether a specific event in your life would make the cut? Let’s keep the discussion going below.


Pete Kistler is a leading Online Reputation Management expert for Generation Y, a top 5 finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2009, one of the Top 30 Definitive Personal Branding Experts on Twitter, a widely read career development blogger, and a Judge for the 2009 Personal Brand Awards. Pete manages strategic vision for Brand‐, the first online reputation management platform for job applicants, named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative College Startups in the U.S.