I've been a fan of PR genius Peter Shankman's Help a Reporter Out mailing list since I first discovered it this spring, talking it up here, in my own newsletter and in countless emails, conversations and presentations. (In fact, one of the highlights of my recent trip to Seattle was getting to meet the man in person—he's everywhere, is Peter, and just as funny, sharp and generous as his thrice-daily messages would lead you to believe.)
I've used it to raise the profile of Crohn's disease a bit, in an article for MSNBC online. Ilise was recently interviewed for a piece on shyness to run in the NY Post in November. And here, Marketing Mentor client Dara Turransky shares her experience, as well as some tips on how to get the most out of a terrific service.
HARO is an excellent resource for creating some buzz for your business. I used HARO recently to find radio interviews for two of my clients.
The pitches worked out great. My clients received much needed exposure,
and I looked like a hero to them.
The best part about the service is that it's FREE. All you need to do is sign up for the daily inquiries and HARO is sent to you three times a day. HARO reporters are always looking for experts to interview for articles ranging from the latest Halloween trends to best marketing practices.
Keep in mind these simple tips to get the most out of HARO:
- Only answer inquiries that match your business objectives.
- Craft your pitch to match what the reporter is looking for as closely as is humanly possible.
- Don't SPAM any of the reporters with off-topics.
- You can forward inquiries to friends, but don't post them on the Web or on any blog.
- You aren't allowed to harvest the reporters' email addresses in any way. There are severe virtual consequences for anyone who does.
- You don't need to know a great deal of PR to use the list, just be yourself and professional. If you're so inclined to learn a bit more about PR, then I would read Michael Levine's Guerilla PR 2.0. He writes in an easy-to-read format with great tips and lots of examples on how to write a pitch that delivers results. You will also find most of the actionable items in the chapters can be scaled down for a one or two-person shop.
Dara Turransky is the Founder and Creative Director of 7 Lucky Dogs, a marketing agency for the pet industry. Learn more about her agency by visiting her website or email her at dara AT 7luckydogs DOT com.