HARO (Help a Reporter Out) does exactly what it says on the tin.
It allows you to “help a reporter out” by providing them with credible (and relevant) sources for their upcoming article(s).
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up to HARO/ResponseSource (Free for HARO. £25+/month for ResponseSource)
- You receive daily email alerts from journalists looking for reputable sources for their article(s)
- You respond to relevant alerts in a timely manner with tailored answers, along with your name/credentials
- You get a highly-authoritative editorial link
And when I say highly-authoritative link, I mean it…
Here are just some of the media outlets making use of HARO:
You can get started with HARO here, and ResponseSource here.
Here’s how to do it:
- Sign up for HARO (or ResponseSource)
- Refine your alerts
- Respond to any relevant alerts (quickly!)
- Get a link!
First, you need to sign up to HARO (for free) here.
Click the “Subscribe Now” button…
…then choose the “Basic” package (the one without the monthly charge):
Fill in your details and click the “Submit” button.
Click the confirmation link in the email to confirm your account (if it doesn’t come through within a few minutes, check your spam/junk folder).
Now you’re signed up, you need to refine your alerts (otherwise they’ll get super-annoying).
HARO subscribes you to the “Master HARO” by default – this basically means that without editing your subscription preferences, many of the notifications you receive will be irrelevant to your industry.
Here’s how to fix this:
Sign into your HARO account here.
Uncheck the “Master HARO” checkbox under the “HARO Preferences” heading:
Next, check any categories that are relevant to you/your clients.
For example, if you ran a fitness blog, you’d probably want to check the “Lifestyle and Fitness” box, but possibly also the “Sports” option:
Click “Save & Update”:
Now, HARO will send you up to three email alerts per day.
They’ll look something like this:
Each email contains a bunch of requests from journalists, who are looking for facts, opinions and sources for their upcoming articles.
Most of the alerts you receive on a daily basis will be irrelevant to your organisation, but when you do receive a relevant alert, you need to respond as quickly as possible.
It’s also important that your response is short, sweet, accurate, and straight-to-the-point.
Here’s a template you can use for your response(s):
I’m [YOUR NAME], [POSITION] at [ORGANISATION NAME].
Here are my answers: [INSERT ANSWERS]
If you need anything else, give me a shout. I’ll do my best to reply ASAP.
Advanced Tip (from Matthew Barby): Use this IFTTT recipe to receive SMS alerts when a HARO reporter requests input on an article related to a particular keyword. By doing this, you can make sure to respond to relevant requests straight away.
Note: It’s important that you DO NOT mention anything to do with “linking” in your communication with HARO journalists. If you make sure to include your website address in your email signature, that should be enough to ensure that the journalist links to you (should they use your response in their article).