Help a Reporter Out, also known as HARO, is a great tool to use when you want to start pitching yourself for press opportunities.
Through using HARO, I’ve landed clients on:
- U.S. News & World Report
- Huffington Post
- USA Weekly
- Business Insider
Whether you’re just starting to pitch yourself or you’re an experienced pro, HARO is an awesome (free!) tool to help you start landing media mentions. This beginner’s guide to using HARO will set you up for success when you’re pitching!
The Beginner’s Guide to Using HARO
WHAT IS HARO?
HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out and is freemium email subscription service that connects you with journalists who are looking for sources for stories they are writing.
There is a free version and a paid version of the service. I prefer using the free version.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
HARO sends three emails per week day (morning, afternoon, evening – yes, it’s a lot!) filled with journalists looking for sources for upcoming stories they are writing.
The categories that HARO covers are:
- Biotech & healthcare
- Business & finance
- Energy & green tech
- Entertainment & media
- General (a catch all)
- Lifestyle & fitness
- Public policy & government
Each journalist request has:
- A headline summary
- Name of contact (occasionally this will say anonymous, I personally don’t tend to reply to those)
- Email (this is a query email and not their direct email address)
- Name of media outlet (occasionally this will say anonymous)
- Deadline – they are pretty strict about these
- Description of query
Here is an example:
Once you find one that is a fit for your expertise, follow all of the requirements needed to submit.
They are pretty strict about this, so make sure to double-check yourself before sending off.
They are also pretty strict about the deadlines (you will receive a bounce-back email if you submit after the deadline) so try to answer promptly to increase your chances of getting featured!Check out this beginner's guide to using HARO from PR strategist @brittneyllynn! Click To Tweet
TIPS ON USING HARO
- Do not hyperlink any text when pitching a HARO email, copy and paste the link directly into the email as hyperlinked text does not come through on their end.
- Adhere exactly to their requested requirements, if applicable.
- Try to be as prompt as possible. They will receive many emails from people and you want to be as quick and efficient as possible.
- Don’t give them more info than they need. Answer the question exactly and leave it at that.
- When searching for relevant HAROs to pitch yourself for, use the “control F” to find keywords for yourself. This will make the process go a lot faster than scrolling through each of the descriptions (the emails can get pretty long!)
- Most times journalists that take sources from HARO will not email you after their piece has gone live. Keep track of your HAROs you send out so you can check to see if you’re featured.
Consider joining The PR Prompt, my monthly subscription where you receive a weekly PR prompt to implement for yourself. We give tips on pitching yourself to podcasts, crafting your message, getting over the fear of pitching, and even how to use HARO!
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