How to Use “Help A Reporter Out” (HARO) to Engage the Media
by David Fagan, Top Talent, www.davidtfagan.com
If you don’t already know, HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out (www.helpareporter.com) and it’s one of the easiest ways to ultimately get featured in the media. Most people either don’t know about this online resource or they don’t really understand how to get results from it. I’m going to help you with both.
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First, anyone can get a free account on the website www.helpareporter.com, and that’s all you really need to get started.
Yes, they have premium accounts that cost monthly fees, but you don’t need those programs until you first learn the basics.
I recommend upgrading after you get some results, which shouldn’t take you long with my tips and tricks.
Next, you should know that there are 2 types of people that use HARO:
- Sources – If you have expert opinions about topics in the media and can share intelligent and interesting views that you are considered a good source for reporters to interview. (Sometimes it’s not only reporters. It can also be producers, editors and talk show hosts. Sometimes these professionals are looking for just a quote rather than a full blown interview.)
- Reporters – If you have a popular BLOG, a regular column, a radio show, or a TV show you are considered a reporter. (Sometimes you can even be a writer looking for sources for a book or a thesis.)
Don’t worry, you can sign up as both a Source and a Reporter. (More on this during the training call.)
Bottom line, HARO was setup to help reporters gain easy access to sources in the everyday ordinary world to help them write their stories, research their topics, and form their views for the media. Just as equally, it was designed to help speakers, authors, and experts find opportunities to share their wisdom and experiences with the media.
Here are my 5 Top Tips and Tricks for getting Rapid Results with HARO:
- Speed – 3 times every day HARO will send out emails that have lists of potential stories from reporters in them. The trick here is to respond quickly to these links with your thoughts, ideas, and contributions. Even if the link says the story won’t be written or finished for days, you want to be one of the first people to respond. Usually, the potential story is shaped and structured by the first couple quality responses from sources. You must be quick!
- Subject Line – Make sure the subject line is directly tied to the story the reporter is researching. There is nothing wrong with using the exact title of their query in HARO as the subject line. In fact, my tip is you do exactly that!
- Succinct – When responding to a link about a potential story you want to contribute to, you want to use just 2-4 sentences to address their request for information. The reporter will contact you if they want more. You may also include succinct info about yourself, but I highly recommend your initial response be only 2-4 sentences that directly reply to the reporter’s query.
- Sophisticated – Write out your response in Word first to ensure good spelling and grammar. Once it’s written out well, then copy and paste it directly in the email. You want your 2-4 sentences to be written correctly and edited for errors. If the query in HARO provides a reporter’s name, then use it in the email. My tip is to be polite, professional, and on point. This is what it means to be sophisticated.
- Sell it – You sell your contribution through your social proof. You want to include a short bio of yourself, a good website address that positions you as a sophisticated expert, name of the book(s) you wrote, and maybe some social media links that show you have a following. My tip is to show you are an expert in your field. Do NOT include any attachments in your emails because they will be removed by the HARO email system, or your email just won’t go through at all. Use links to anything that you want to show in order to prove your expertise.
This is more than enough to get you results when it comes to media features. Just these 5 Secrets to HARO Success can get you good links to improve your SEO as well as create more Social Proof to increase sales conversions with clients.
See you soon!
P.S. – I’ll be on the Marketers Cruise if you want to join me in November.
I know there aren’t a lot of cabins left but you can see the availability at www.MarketersCruise.com.
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll let you know my thoughts and plans.
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