Getting information out to the world requires facts and expert opinions. This is the same for journalists, reporters, radio show hosts, and bloggers alike. Many good news pieces include a quote by an expert on the subject backing the information. Professionals who are interviewed or quoted in these articles can benefit from this recognition. One way professionals can connect with journalists and hosts is through a website called HARO (Help a Reporter Out).
Connecting with the Media
There have been reports of many professionals that have used HARO to connect with various media outlets. Online news, blogs, radio shows and magazines use HARO to source experts. Associated Press, Entrepreneur, and Huffington Post are among outlets that have posted queries on HARO. Professionals say finding the right query can require patience and consistency, however, browsing the newsletter takes just a couple of minutes. Failing to do so could mean missing that one perfect query by a well-known site.
Getting Some Answers
I wanted to find out what others do to better their chance at being chosen for a query. What better way to get real honest feedback than to post a query on HARO. The full story “The Complete Guide to HARO” includes all twenty-six responses. Below you will find the top eight tips that could make the difference in getting that next interview.
1) Research the Journalist
“The one thing I do is research the reporter/blogger who published the query if I can. It helps to know what that person writes about, his or her style and to find any common interests or connections. For example, I did a quick Google search on your name and found that we have very similar philosophies about using marketing and PR to create authority and preference, based on this interview with you in DailyNewsSanFrancisco,” said Lori Nash Byron, CEO of Famous in Your Field.
2) Be the First to Respond
“The key to responding on HARO is to respond as quickly as possible. When that email comes in, I drop everything and respond right away,” added Comedian Dan Nainan. (Dan was the first to respond to my query.)
3) Subject Line
Sacrifice Unicorns to the Gods of HARO
This is the pitch subject line I received from Alexander Ruggie, PR Director of 911 Restoration. He has used this attention getting technique to get his pitches opened and chosen for many HARO queries. He said ” My favorite subject line is – I STOLE YOUR DOG – that always gets them to open the email unless they have cats.” These subject lines may be a little bold for some, but he has a very good point. If your query doesn’t get opened it will not be read.
David J. Bradley, a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and consultant offered, “Share your relevant expertise. The journalists needs to trust you! Make your inquiry answers concise but in-depth. Make sure it’s something that the journalist would be comfortable copy-and-pasting into their article. Show your credibility through your previous publications. Again, trust is important. If others published you, you must be more trustable!”
5) Give the Reporter What They are Asking for
Henry Stimpson, President of Stimpson Communications said, “Read the query carefully and give the reporter or freelancer exactly what she or he is looking for, as promptly as possible, to the best of your ability. It’s like anything else: you get the best results when you follow the instructions. The vast majority of the time, the inquirer wants a written response, so answer the question succinctly, getting to your key points as quickly as possible. Give your (or your client’s) name, title and location, and any credentials (professional certifications) but no need for a long windy bio.”
6) Offer to Promote the Article
Jacob Baldwin, Global Manager of Digital Marketing at Emerson Climate Technologies offered this advice: “It’s important to understand that these journalists want their story to be seen, to get read and passed around. This being the case, if you offer to share the finished product with your social networks and help with the promotion of the article, I find that it works to build more value.”
7) Connect with Them on LinkedIn
Bob Bentz, President of ATS Mobile said, “After responding, find the author and contact them via LinkedIn. You’ll be more likely to be chosen if you already have a relationship with
8) After you are Selected, Promote the Article
“When you get the HARO lead and are published, tell the world. Especially if you are building your expert status tell everyone about your press placement,” added Ed McMasters, Director of Marketing and Communications Flottman Company, Inc.