HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out, is a service that connects journalists to sources that they can use when writing an article, podcast, or even book. It works by allowing the journalist to post a request for certain types of information, and sources can respond and offer the information. It is free for both the journalist and for potential sources to use.
When you first begin using HARO, setting up your profile and preferences are straightforward and can take as little as five minutes to complete. Once you've done that, you'll be able to respond to queries from journalists, as well as submit your content and information to relevant queries.
The key to success when using HARO is to make sure that you respond quickly, with high-quality information and content. You should also tailor your response to the query, as HAROing is most effective when you are able to show the journalist that you have given careful thought to the query and are providing them with useful information.
One of the most important parts of using HARO is timing. If you don't respond to a journalist's query before the deadline, they will likely move on to another source. For this reason, finding and responding to the right queries quickly is key. When sourcing queries to respond to, you can use the 'advanced search' feature to narrow down your search by keyword, media outlet, and/or category. You can also save searches, so that you're able to revisit queries that match your interests.
When you're writing your response, there are some best practices to keep in mind. First and foremost, keep your pitch concise. Reporters are busy and often receive hundreds of responses, and long, overly detailed emails won't capture their attention and can result in your response being missed.
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In your pitch, it's also important to show that you have thought carefully about the query, and provide specific and tailored information. This will demonstrate to the journalist that you are an expert in the subject, and show that you understand the story that they are telling. Answer the question as specifically as possible, with examples and facts to back up your argument.
By using HARO, you will have the chance to build relationships with reporters, and become an invaluable source of information that they can use in the future. This can lead to your information being used in a variety of high-profile outlets, and can raise both your profile and that of the business or organization you are representing.
Finally, make sure to use proper English, so that the journalist understands your message clearly. Also, be polite and courteous in your exchange. If the journalist has any questions, it's important to answer them in a timely manner and with respect.
Using HARO can be a great way to gain valuable exposure, both for you and your organization. To successfully use the platform, you must be able to quickly source queries, craft thoughtful and tailored responses, and maintain relationships with journalists. By following the basic tips outlined above, you can leverage HARO to its fullest potential.