The title of this post is the name of a great free service. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is the brain-child of East Coast PR pro Peter Shankman. (I did a podcast with Peter that I will publish shortly, but I wanted you to know about this resource right away.)
HARO started out as a Facebook group as a way to keep track of journalist’s looking for a particular expert for a story. The free service, that essentially hooks journalists up with credible sources to interview, grew rapidly and needed a home off Facebook to manage the size. As of this writing HARO is approaching 20,000 members. Hey, it’s free and its works, no surprise it grew.
Journalists go online fill out a form and their request gets added to the three time daily email distribution to members. As a member, If you see a story that you could contribute to, your simply reply directly to the query. A word to the wise, replying off topic may get you kicked off the list. Quality over quantity is what works here.
So, If your looking to promote your business sign up here. Get in the habit of scanning the daily emails quickly and see if any stories jump out at you. Keep your replies brief and to the point. Journalists love trends and ideas backed up with data, so add that as well as a pre-written paragraph of what makes you an exert.
If you’re a journalist and want to start putting your story ideas out for comment, experts or even research, sign up here. Keep in mind this includes podcasters looking for guests, bloggers doing research for a post, authors needing experts and case studies for a book, as well as journalists writing a story for a major daily.
Many people may be familiar with a similar service from industry giant PRNewswire called ProfNet. ProfNet offers a good service, but is simply too expensive for the typical small business to justify.
This may end up with a little David vs. Goliath story line as I’ve been told some folks at ProNet aren’t too happy with HARO.