Have you heard of Help a Reporter Out – or HARO? It’s a great PR tool to add to your marketing toolbox.
HARO is a resource for connecting reporters who need sources for stories with people who are knowledgeable about the subject matter. Queries range from fun lifestyle stories to business and finance. There is something for everyone, whether you’re a CPA, bookkeeper, financial adviser, contractor, nutrition or life coach, business consultant, therapist, hair stylist or b2b service provider.
Free publicity is a great way to increase your audience and gain access to potential customers for your small business or start-up, but building relationships with reporters and bloggers is challenging. HARO helps by connecting you to reporters who are in need of experts in a variety of industries. It’s a marketing and PR tool I highly recommend adding to your Marketing Plan. I’ve used it for getting PR for clients I work with and we’ve had success.
It’s easy to use: just go to HelpaReporter.com, sign up for your free account and start receiving queries directly to your inbox. Browse the queries daily and respond to the ones that are relevant to your business and area of expertise before the deadline to be considered by the reporter. Remember you will be competing with possibly hundreds of others submitting responses so put your best Marketing foot forward. I’ve had luck submitting out of the box ideas in succinct emails with a few bullet points. The goal is to stand out from the masses, so put your marketing consultant hat on, put yourself int he shoes of the reporter and consider how you can achieve that. If the reporter is interested in your idea he or she will contact you for more information and/or an interview.
You aren’t going to win every proposal, the goal is to be consistent and keep trying. Be patient. You never know when you might hit on the Wall Street Journal or Forbes article!