Help A Reporter (AKA HARO) is a favorite tool for us PR professionals. Originally launched to help PR pro’s and journalists connect more effectively, this is a must-have subscription for anyone working in PR. The best part of HARO is that is (and has always been) a free feed.
HARO is a feed of stories that reporters are writing and that they need sources for. Subscribe to the feeds that are most related to you and get some good stories out of pitching what reporters are already writing. A great source for any startup that is looking for low hanging opportunities.
It isn’t easy to get HARO coverage, it just has a higher probability, but only if you do it right. So, we’ve pulled together some insider tips to maximize your use of HARO to get media coverage!
You must subscribe to be able to respond to the HARO queries, so make sure you sign up. It’s free, do it now.
Check your HARO’s in a timely manner – We’ve noticed that the early bird gets the worm when it comes to pitching opportunities here. The faster you respond the more likely you are to get in there. Make sure you check the deadline on the query.
Make sure that your pitch very specifically and directly meets the requirements of the query. The HARO team compiles the details so that journalists. Read the query thoroughly before jumping to respond.
Answer the questions/Provide details – If the query asks questions, make sure you answer them in detail in your email. These reporters are typically on deadline and don’t have time to go back and forth, so provide them with everything they need to take your email and put it to their article or to give you a call.
Provide resources – make sure you include a bio, headshot, press kit if it makes sense. Also, don’t forget to attribute your commentary to the right person in your organization, or else they may attribute the commentary to whoever sent the email.
Just like everything in PR, there is a little bit of a science to answering HARO’s. Make sure you are detail-oriented, read through them thoroughly and provide contact information. I would say that 1/10 of our HARO’s gets answered/covered. The odds are in your favor, but make sure you are helping a reporter out, not forcing your content on them ;).
*This isn’t a paid endorsement, I really just love HARO.
Go! Pitch! And Get Coverage!