Today’s guest post is by Michael Reynolds. According to his bio:
Michael Reynolds is President/CEO of SpinWeb – a professional website design, development and online marketing firm.
Michael regularly publishes email articles, blogs, and e-books that teach his readers how to do business and communicate using digital tools. He also speaks at industry events around the country, including the Web 2.0 Expo in New York, the CMS Expo in Chicago, and Blog Indiana in Indianapolis.
I will also add that he’s very smart, very generous, and a great resource. So, without further ado ….
The massage profession is in an evolutionary state right now. There are hundreds of thousands of hardworking professional massage therapists working as health care providers throughout the country. Unfortunately, the regulation of massage therapy is still in flux and many state laws are still behind the times and offer little to no protection to the massage profession or to consumers. Some states have full licensure, some state have certification, and some have no regulation at all.
Along with this environment, comes the unfortunate problem of prostitution under the guise of legitimate massage. For this reason, many AMTA chapters are very active in monitoring local news reports covering “massage “parlor” busts. AMTA members are among the most vigilant in monitoring and reporting these unfortunate situations. Each time a story breaks that covers prostitution under the guise of massage, it’s a great opportunity to contact local legislators in order to lobby for stronger laws or an upgrade to state licensure.
Since it can be difficult to keep up with all the stories on this topic, I thought I would share a simple technique that can help AMTA members and chapter volunteers monitor these stories using Google Alerts.
Google Alerts is a free service that allows you to automatically monitor certain topics on the web and get automatic reports on a daily basis with links to the stories. To set up an alert to monitor massage-related issues in the news, first go to www.google.com/alerts. You will be asked to enter keywords that you want to get alerts on. Here is an example that AMTA volunteers or staff members may want to use to monitor issues related to illegal activities related to massage:
This will set up an alert that emails you every day with any stories containing the keywords “massage,” “prostitution,” and “Indiana.” You can select other options, such as how often to send alerts and what types of content to monitor. I generally choose once a day and all content. Then, every day (if there are any matches), you will get an email that looks something like this:
As you can see, this will let you monitor news stories that cover “massage parlor” busts which gives you information to send to your local legislators. This can be valuable for AMTA chapter government relations chairs as they report issues to legislators and lobby for stronger regulation. GR chairs and other AMTA volunteers can also contact local members who can then contact their legislators.
Naturally, you can tweak the keywords to meet your needs but this example hopefully shows you how to use Google Alerts as an AMTA volunteer or staff member to stay in the know when it comes to issues that affect the massage profession.
I would love to hear feedback from those who are using Google Alerts for this purpose. Please comment below!