If you’ve read articles on major media outlets like New York Times, CNN, ABC News, and other similar sources, you’ve probably wondered what it would take to get your name or business mentioned as an authority on a particular topic. And now, you can have that chance.
HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out, is a site that connects reporters from major publications and media outlets with industry experts. How simple is it to start getting queries from reporters? It’s as simple as these three steps.
1. Sign up for HARO as a Source.
To get started, all you have to do is sign up with HARO as a source with just your email and password. It’s free!
2. Fill out your HARO profile.
Once you click on the activation link in your email, you will be taken to a welcome screen on the HARO site. From here, you will want to click on “Update and add to your account details” in order to setup your profile.
After you enter your basic information, you will want to take a look at your HARO Preferences.
This is where you will choose to receive the Master HARO list which gives you all of the topics that reporters need sources for, or you can select from specific categories. The categories marked with the question mark currently fall under the Master HARO, but once they have started receiving a good number of queries, they will have their own list.
I would also suggest filling out your Other Contact Info which will let reporters know where you are located and more about your social presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. which might be relevant if you are doing a story on social media.
3. Read your HARO emails daily.
At this point, all you have to do is sit back and start reading your emails. Depending on your preferences, you will probably receive two to three emails a day with new queries from reporters. The Master HARO list usually has anywhere from 50 – 100 queries per email depending on the day, with each query organized by topic and hyperlinked so you can jump straight to the one you want.
Each query will be include the name of the reporter, the publication they will provide their research to, an email address to contact them with your response, a deadline, and a simple description of the information they are looking for.
Whenever you see one that fits your area of expertise, you simply send your response via email. It’s that easy! If your response fits the needs of the reporter, they will contact you for more information if necessary. Be sure to note the deadline and, in general, the faster you send your response the better!
My suggestion would be to keep your response as concise (or as detailed) as possible based on the details in the query. Also, I would suggest using a text-based signature that includes your name, your company name (if applicable), your job title, and any pertinent website links that you would like mentioned if the reporter so chooses. Don’t put them in a pushy way like “Please link to these” and definitely don’t overcrowd your signature with a ton of links. Just send your main website URL, and maybe a link to your main social accounts if you feel they might be relevant to your story.