Help A Reporter Out (known by most as HARO) is a free service (for PR pros) to lets reporters announce what they’re looking for (sources, interviews, etc), by when they need it, and lets everyone subscribed to the list submit a pitch. Of course, it works on the honor system. That is, it’s assumed (and, I’m told enforced) that you won’t respond unless you actually meet the requirements of the journalist when you respond.IN other words, don’t spam them, don’t try to convince them your toaster is a blender, and just be nice.
Peter Shankman is the creator of HARO (he started it as a Facebook group) and a vocal critic of Public Relations practitioners. He has provided three blog posts to help you use HARO better, or just get started:
- “The Five Rules of HARO“
- “How to Answer a HARO Journalist Query“
- “Five Guaranteed Ways to Get Your Story Placed“
If you’ve never tried HARO, it is a great opportunity to be matched up with reporters from across the country. I’ve heard some great success stories from small businesses and niche PR agencies. I personally have never had anything picked up, but I have to admit I haven’t tried in a while.
If you get something picked up or placed via HARO, let me know.