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Have you heard of HARO?  I hadn’t, until a few months ago.  At first, I was a little confused and overwhelmed by it, but I’ve come to find it as a really fun and dynamic tool.

HARO (Help A Reporter Out) provides “real-time media opportunities, straight from journalists on a deadline needing a source.”  Journalists need information for projects they are working on, so they submit queries to HARO, which in turn sends them out to their database of sources (me, you and anyone else that has signed up).

What’s in it for you?

Responding to a media request gives you an opportunity to position yourself as an expert in your field, while getting some exposure for your brand.  If the journalist uses your response, you’ll be credited with your name & company, which translates into an introduction of you to their audience of readers.  You never know who might be reading the article that might become interested in learning more about you!

How does it work?

When signing up, the first thing to do is identify up to 10 topics you can comment on.  I signed up for the free version, but there are premium options depending on your interest level.

HARO then sends out 3 emails a day – a morning edition, afternoon & evening.  Word to the wise – create a HARO folder in your email, because you could get 3-10+ emails a day.  This sounds like a lot… but having them in their own folder gives you the opportunity to browse them at your own pace.

Here’s what a sample alert email looks like (click on image to enlarge):

The query titles are listed under topic headings, and are hyper-linked to the full listing… so you just click on a title that interests you, and it zooms you down the page to the alert.

When do I see my name in lights?

Simply replying to a request does not guarantee you publicity. It’s up to the requesting journalist to filter through the responses and use those which suit their needs the best.

I operate by the motto, “it never hurts to try.”  If they use my response, WOO HOO.  If not, I’m no better off than where I started… and hey, who’s to say the journalist won’t contact you in the future, now that you’ve introduced yourself?