Looking for some press and media exposure for your business? HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, is a free service that connects reporters writing stories with people that can help them write those stories. Created in 2008 by public relations expert Peter Shankman, HARO as a Facebook page where journalists, writers, and bloggers posted daily PR opportunities for anyone to access and respond to. It has since grown into a website and daily email list.
Sign up for free and you’ll get an email from them 3 times a day (morning edition, afternoon edition, evening edition) with a list of opportunities broken down by categories like Entertainment and Media, Education, Business and Finance, Healthcare, Lifestyle and Fitness, Tech, Public Policy, to name a few. These are active writers and reporters actively looking for sources for their pieces. We were surprised at how many opportunities were in each email, and how specific some of the requests are.
If you see a developing story on the list that you think you can assist on, you’ll write back with a brief pitch on how you can help and your credentials. They’ll follow-up if they can use your input. If so, your name and info are usually cited in their story. It’s an interesting DIY way to build up a media/press portfolio if you’re looking to “get your name out there”.
Tip: Jump on anything that interests you quickly to increase your chances of the reporter replying to you.
The days of paying a PR firm a few thousand dollars (or more) each month to get your company press are pretty much dead. Thanks to social media and services like this, coaches and entrepreneurs can be their own PR agency.
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