Social branding is among the most effective methods or techniques that businesses and companies utilize to make themselves known to their target customers. Lots of these companies use ways to get publicized, and one of the tools they use is HARO. But aside from companies, plenty of journalists also use HARO to collect input from the general public.
It may be the first time you hear this abbreviated word, so let us jump in and know more about what HARO is, how it works, and how it helps companies with their PR.
What Is It?
Help A Reporter Out, better known as HARO, is a dynamic website with a vast database that works as a newsletter. HARO comprises queries from different journalists and bloggers looking for great sources for upcoming articles and blogs. Since its database is vast, the topics you can find in HARO ranges from home solutions to business, finance, lifestyle, technology, and many more.
Even though HARO’s main objective is to cater to journalists and reporters, it has also become a vital brand tool. It is because traditional blogging is not enough anymore. Getting mentioned or quoted by various media groups can lead to positive exposures that every brand needs.
How to Use It and How Does It Work?
If you are an owner of a business enterprise, HARO would be a perfect tool for you, especially if you seek a wider audience for your businesses’ blog. It is a powerful tool intended for media promotion and content creation. All you need to do is sign up as a source, cite your line of interest, and wait for emails to arrive. You will be receiving three emails a day from Mondays to Fridays once you sign up.
These emails contain public relations leads encompassing interests like lifestyle, business, technology, et cetera. If a journalist or a reporter finds that you fit their needs, you will get a feature or a mention in their piece. In short, you will be quoted as an expert source, which is a great way to establish authority for you and your business.
Remember to be vigilant of the emails you receive because one of these queries might be compatible with the content or subject you are after. You can also create pitches for reporters or journalists and request information from relevant sources to support and build credibility for your blog’s content. If you want a step-by-step process or procedure that you can follow, then read on:
Sign-up for an account
Make sure to choose your profile upon signing up, whether for a journalist or a source. The account type you set up in your HARO profile will help you receive specified queries directly related to your expertise. You are given by HARO’s system a way to filter the emails you receive, but this is actually counterproductive to do since you may miss out on emails that are worth gold.
Respond appropriately to queries
It is an unwritten rule not to jump in on the first email you receive. You have to check first the subject line of the query, and you can also see the query summary in the index part to check if it is compatible with what you are seeking. Once you decide on a query that’s right up your alley, make sure to read it in detail so that you do not miss anything. You are now ready to make your pitch.
The gist of your pitch should be compelling enough for reporters to notice. It would be better to find a captivating angle that connects to your company rather than straightforwardly pitching what your company is all about. It is to make sure that you shorten the vetting process of reporters and journalists, for they are receiving tons of answers to their queries. Another tip for pitching is to make sure you build a relationship by asking what topics the journalists are interested in doing.
Monitor your HARO placement
You may not always get a quick response from a HARO journalist, and many of them don’t respond at all. So what you can do is to set up Google Alerts that you can use to keep track of the brand or person you cited in your pitch.
Dos and Don’ts when using HARO
- Use correct grammar and spelling. Of course, journalists and reporters notice even these little things. If your pitch has grammatical errors, they will view it as not credible enough to feature.
- Remember to put your contact information. Always include a working contact number and an email address that you regularly use.
- Promptly respond when journalists ask you for more details.
- Build a network with journalists or reporters. If you get a feature from them, ask them if they want to connect with you through other social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram. It is to make you more visible to other media outlets or publications.
- Do not ramble when responding to a journalist. Get straight to the point and make sure your pitch has all the relevant information it needs.
- Do not immediately respond to a query until you are sure that you fit the reporter’s requirements.
- Never send an off-topic pitch. In cases where you are unsure about the topic, it is better to get an opinion from a knowledgeable friend or acquaintance.
- Do not over-promote yourself or your company. Pitches like these will sound sales-y, and reporters will likely skip your pitch entirely.
A lot of company owners run their companies full time. Many of these owners have very little time on their hands to be doing something about their PR. It is why turning to HARO can produce great results for their media presence, whether they do it themselves or hire a HARO Link Building Service to do it for them.
If you are a company owner that uses HARO and you happen to get a feature in a media publication, remember to thank that media outlet. You can do this by sharing the article on your website or the social media account of your company and mentioning them. It is a pleasant way to build a stable foundation for future interactions with these journalists.