HARO connects businesses with over 100,000 reporters, bloggers and news sources. The purpose is to tell businesses’ stories to promote themselves. HARO can be used to promote services, brands and products.
Ever since launching, HARO has published well over 70,000 journalist queries. They have also facilitated over 6 million media pitches, which promote and marketed over 1,000 brands to businesses, consumers and the media. Reporters and sources can use HARO completely free, which means it’s a great social networking resource.
Getting Noticed On HARO
Want to get noticed on HARO? There’s a few things to keep in mind. The top tips are:
Subscribe To Relevant HARO Industry Feed
You should sign up to get alerts in your industry. A lot of people initially join HARO to generate backlinks or to access a few features, but if you want the best chance of getting through everything else, then you should be as organized as possible. You’ll become subscribed to a master list if you register for media service. However, many members of HARO become aggravated when they started receiving queries that are completely irrelevant to them.
For example, if you own a food truck and you pitch a reporter for business article around toy dolls, then this audience isn’t going to be interested in that type of content. Plus, the journalist won’t look at you as an expert authority, regardless if you are passionate about the topic or if you are truly an expert on the subject. The goal is to increase your customer base by targeting the right industry.
This is exactly why signing up for alerts is important. You can choose how often you want to receive emails. HARO sends out reports up to three times daily.
Have A System In Place
If you don’t need specific daily queries, then filter them out. It’s easy to filter out your emails, that way you only receive HARO questions that feature keywords that have already been pre-selected. In turn, the emails you’ll get will be ones that you’ll likely want to reply to.
Respond Only To Ideal Matches
After you sign up for a free account, various journalists will start sending you requests, usually up to three times per day. Expect requests in the morning, afternoon and one more request in the evening. Each time you receive a request, make sure you read it very carefully. The goal is to choose the ones that are the most suitable.
If you have the experience and info that matches the queries, then go ahead and respond to them. You can expect to receive many requests as time goes by. This means if nothing matches your expertise now, then rest assure something will eventually.
One thing to note is that opportunities on HARO go very fast, and this is because journalists work on their own stuff. They also have fast turnarounds and they may have many responses. HARO connects millions of members to roughly around 30,000 journalists, so you can see that HARO has some fierce competition on their platform.
Generally speaking, you should submit your pitch no later than 12 hours after receiving it. Do not send pitches once a deadline has passed. The goal is to respond as fast as possible. Also, try to throw together two powerful paragraphs, which should quickly explain why you are qualified to answer the question posted.
Be as clear and concise as possible and always use complete sentences that are free of grammar errors. Remember, everyone on the platform is on some sort of deadline. This is why you have to be fast to respond and convince people why you are the one they should choose to answer their questions.
Follow The Rules
There are essential rules you need to follow to make the most of HARO:
- Only do a pitch. Don’t attach anything to it because reporters need protection from viruses and malware.
- Don’t pitch a product unless you were asked to via a query.
- Always meet the requirements if you find queries that interest you. If you’r’e not qualified, then don’t worry. Keep moving until you find something you qualify for.
- Follow the instructions to the T. Only give the required number of sentences being asked for and always pay close attention to what you’re being asked to do. If you are being asked to provide them with high quality photos, then do just that and always do it within a reasonable amount of time. By adhering the instructions and completing queries in a timely manner, your reputation will increase.
- Review the rules that HARO has laid out before pitching
Tips For Getting PR With HARO
- Don’t attach anything to pitches because they don’t work. Plus, HARO doesn’t allow attachments to go through because this is to protect users from viruses. Even if you were allowed to do this, you wouldn’t want to. Most people on HARO wouldn’t open attachments anyways.
- You have to copy and paste URLs if you want to share links. Make sure the links are relevant, such as your social media links or links to your websites. Hyperlinks won’t make it through HARO’s systems. This is why the platform recommends cutting and pasting links into content before sending that content out.
- Feel free to use templates, but always personalize your responses. Your response’s template can begin with a copy/paste layout, but you want to cater your responses to all queries. Those receiving the responses will know whether or not your responses are copied and pasted and they may catch on that you’re using the same responses for all queries.
- Do not pitch stuff that’s not on topic. If you’re not 100% sure whether or not you’re about to pitch something relevant, then stop. Send the pitch to someone you know for a second opinion. Then you can decide what to do.
- Your proofreading and editing skills need to be perfect because you won’t be taken seriously if your skills aren’t up to par. Poorly written content and bad grammar will work against you. This is why you should double check your work before you submit it.
- Your response has to be different if you want to grab journalists’ attention. Make your pitch as unique as possible because most on HARO receive many pitches on a daily basis. Do your best to create a pitch that’s truly unique and one that focuses on the needs of the journalist. Your pitch should not focus too much on your needs or about you in general.
- Providing good info is great, but you need to provide quotes that can actually be used. Quotes should be no longer than three sentences. You can also send the report a thank you email.
- If you receive a good response, then you can send the link to the article out once it is live. As a result of doing this, there’s a chance you may connect with other experts, writers and professionals. Not only that, but you may move up the ranks within the listings on HARO.
HARO can be a completely waste of time if you use it wrong or if you feel completely overwhelmed by it. However, if you use it properly, you will be the one experts turn to when they need to quote someone in their pieces. You and your company can get excellent press when HARO is used right. In turn, you could end up raising brand awareness and increasing your bottom line.
Great Alternatives To HARO
There’s several alternatives to HARO. Largely speaking the tips above will provide you with a good grounding to approach these alternatives and gain placements and links.
The top ones include:
- Muck Rack
Muck Rack is a database geared towards journalists. They also consider themselves a coverage reporting platform and a media monitoring platform. With that said, the main reasons journalists use Muck Ruck are:
- Track the impact of the work they’ve done
- Stay on top of news regarding their colleagues
- Find opportunities
Those are only a few reasons journalists use Muck Rack. Marketers, PR Pros and companies use it for various reasons too. The top ones are:
- Find journalists to pitch ideas to
- Keep an eye out for what’s being said about their clients, companies and competitors
- Track the success of their campaigns
- Media Kitty
Media Kitty was launched in 2001. They connect thousands of journalists to experts, PR professionals and sources, all of whom pay a yearly subscription fee. It’s easily one of the best platforms for businesses in the lifestyle and/or tourism industry. If they need sources that are relevant to travel, they’ll find at at Media Kitty.
Media Kitty does look over its applications. It can take a week to get approved. However, once you’re approved you’ll have the chance to connect with the journalists in their database.
- Source Bottle
This site is very similar to HARO. Bloggers and journalists can post that they’re looking for industry sources. However, there’s a key difference between Source Bottle and HARO, with Source Bottle being more focused on reviews for products and securing sponsorship. HARO is the better option if you want to be featured as a professional/expert.
On a regular basis, you’ll receive email alerts that briefly summarize your call-outs for relevant sources. Not only that, but you can search for journalists/experts in various fields, including the tech industry, non-profits and fashion houses to name a few. You can even search for journalists and bloggers from specific areas of the world.
Furthermore, you can choose how to be contacted. This means you can reach out to others via your preferred means of communication. Whether it’s via email or the phone, the choice is completely yours.
- A News Tip
A News Tip is kind of like MuckRack. In fact, their search features bear similarities. The way it works is:
- Search The Database – A News Tip has a very large database you can use to search for media contacts. You can search for them via on what they Tweeted or have written. There are millions of news articles indexed by the database, and there are more than a million contacts.
- Monitor Tweets & News Articles – You can monitor both Tweets and news article from the world’s largest media influencers. When new results come in, A News Tip will email you. You’ll learn a lot about your brand and competitors by doing this.
- Build Media Lists – You can use the database to find media contacts that are suitable for your campaign. Then you can organize those contacts via lists. If you want, you can export a list. The choice is up to you.
- Reach Out To Journalists – One of the best things about A News Tip is having the ability to view detailed contact info about media contacts. When you find lists that interest you, feel free to send them a pitch. You’ll even be able to monitor clicks and opens.
Journalists love Twitter. In fact, many consider journalists to be power users of the platform. Here’s a tip, find hashtags that are relevant to what you’re an expert in, and then when the topic trends, make sure you Tweet about it. One of the most popular is #journorequest. You have to be fast and you have to master the talent of writing Tweets that grab the attention of others.
Twitter is a great resource, but you will want to buildup your following because this is how you’ll get the best results possible. The bigger and more relevant your following is, the better. It may take a while to learn how hashtags work and to grow your following, but the effort is worth it.
Those are the best alternatives to HARO. Now you know what the top alternatives are and you know more about the platform. All you have to do now is join HARO, as well as signup to any of the alternatives you think is best suited for you. The sooner you join HARO, the sooner you can learn how to use it, which also means the sooner you’ll be able to reap all of its potential benefits.
HARO Heroes offers an all in one outreach service and can provide you with all you need to get those pitches live and ensure you benefit from media mentions.