As a business owner or marketing manager are you always thinking about new ways to drive interest in your business and traffic to your website? If so, you owe it to yourself to participate in Help A Reporter Out (HARO) at www.helpareporter.com
If you are unfamiliar with HARO, it is a fantastic online resource that puts reporters in touch with experts in the industry they are reporting on, which could be you. It makes it very simple for reporters to get the sources they need, and it makes it equally simple for you to now appear in articles that mention you as an expert in your field. With a little work, you can now generate high quality press (and potentially backlinks) for your business.
While HARO is simple to participate in, the key is to make sure that you are picked for articles that would provide the publicity you are looking for. When responding to HARO queries, it is suggested you keep to the following best practices to increase your chances:
- Respond quickly. While this is obvious, many reporters will tell you that they receive responses after they have already written the article. Timing is everything.
- In your response, include your name, company, position, and contact info in the first paragraph. Make it easy for a busy reporter to understand what you do, the expertise you have, and how they can get in touch with you.
- Provide links to all relevant supporting info. Do not include attachments, as there is a good chance they will not be opened. As with point 2, make it easy for the reporter to do their job and get the info they need.
- Stay on message. Be sure to give the reporter the info they need. If they are interested in another topic, they will bring it up. Pitching a topic that the reporter is not focused on can make it unlikely that they will want to work with you again.
- Bonus Tip. Once a reporter contacts you as a potential source it is because they want your opinion, so give it to them. Also be sure to provide it in a way that it makes a nice “sound bite”. They are not looking for your nuanced description on an issue in your industry, they want something specific that they can use. Give them what they are looking for and your quote will be the one that appears in the article.
With a little diligence you can generate a lot of new interest in your business. A relationship or two with reporters can pay off for a long time to come. Now that you know the secrets, you too can be a HARO Hero.