If you’re a business owner, you have probably tried using HARO before, or Help A Reporter Out, to earn some media coverage… but you and thousands and thousands of others are doing the same thing.
So in this video, I’m going to show you how you can actually respond to a HARO and land coverage by standing out.
What is HARO?
First, I’m going to tell you what HARO is if you’re not familiar with it and then I’m going to tell you five ways you can stand out when you answer a query to actually earn coverage.
First, let’s break down what HARO is. It stands for Help A Reporter Out, and it basically is journalists coming to you in your inbox three times a day.
I will link to HARO so you can sign up if you’re not already signed up as a source for journalists.
Because they have their stories, they know what they need to report on. They just need an expert like you to fill in the gaps and complete their story. But lots of people like you are responding because lots of people want to earn media coverage.
It is so much more valuable than advertising. I did a video a couple of weeks ago that I will link to here that will show you why you should be earning coverage instead of advertising.
How to Use HARO
1. Be quick.
I can tell you as a former TV reporter, you have got to be on it. We would come in for work at 9:00 AM and we would have to turn a story by the 5:00 PM newscast. So these journalists are working on tight deadlines. When you see a HARO, you need to respond quickly because
A.) the person has a tight deadline
B.) because you’re competing with thousands of others across the worldwide web who wants to earn coverage just like that.
So the quicker that you can respond, the better your chances are of getting coverage.
2. The subject line.
Don’t try to be cute. Don’t try to be fancy. You should literally copy and paste the title of the HARO query in your subject line when you respond. Because lots of journalists, they’ll post multiple heroes at a time. So if you’re just saying “in response to your HARO”, they don’t know what you’re talking about. They may be working on one story right now and then they’ll get to another one later, so you want to make sure they know exactly what you are writing about in the subject line.
So I literally just copy and paste what they titled their HARO as my subject line to them.
3. Give them exactly what they want.
Now, this is where people really mess this up. They tried to get so overly promotional. It is not the journalist’s job to promote you and your brand and your business.
The journalist already has his or her story. They know what they’re writing about or podcasting about or shooting a video about. Instead they just need an expert quote. They need your expertise to finish the story, so just give them that.
As a journalist, I’ve also used HARO and I am shocked at the responses that I have gotten. People will respond and they will not answer the question at all. They’ll just promote themselves, so you need to answer the question literally line by line.
I suggest just copying and pasting the question in your response and answering it word for word in response to their question.
This is not a time for you to promote yourself. By default, you’ll get the promotion if they use your content.
4. End with your credentials.
This is where the promotion comes in handy.
They need to know why you’re an expert. Why should they use your quote over somebody else’s? So how do you know what the hell you’re talking about? That’s why you need to end with your credentials to this gives them someone to site.
Remember I told you by default you’re going to get the promotion. If they use my quote, they’re going to say TV host, Christina Nicholson, blah blah, blah. I’m getting that publicity right there. That’s how I’m getting the promotion and my credentials.
I’m going to leave a link back to my website. That’s how I’m going to get that link back. Sometimes they ask for a headshot. So I’ll leave a link to a headshot and it’s important to have a linked shot by the way because when you are responding to these HAROs, you can not attach anything.
So, I have a page on my website that has all of my headshots, my bio, everything people need. So it’s all right there in one spot. Makes it super easy.
So you want to make sure that you end with your credentials so they know why they should use you, you know what you’re talking about.
So they can actually put that in their article… and that’s how you’re going to get that promotion.
5. Start a relationship.
Many times these journalists will not reach back out to you, so you’re not going to get their real email address, but you can start a relationship two different ways.
1.) When they do reach back out to you, they’re going to be doing it from their personal email address. So now you have a point of contact. Keep their email address and reach back out to them and say, “Hey, let me know when you’re doing any more stories on this topic. I’m more than happy to help and if I can’t help you, I probably know somebody who can.” That’s one way.
2.) Set up a Google alert for your name or your business name, so when your HARO is used, you get that alert that the coverage has happened and then you go back to that coverage (and there are so many things you should do with that coverage. That’s another video that I will link to how to profit from the publicity), but what you should do is use that article that you are mentioned in to find the author of that article.
You can usually get a link to them on Twitter. Sometimes you can find their email address and you should send them a little note saying, “Hey, thank you so much for using my quote. I’m more than happy to help you in the future. Please let me know if you’re ever doing any stories on similar topics or if you need help finding a source for something else.”
And that’s how you start a relationship and just start getting more and more coverage.
Using HARO is just one way to earn publicity. You also need to be proactive. You can’t be reactive about everything.
HARO is great because it’s the low hanging fruit. It just comes to you in your inbox three times a day.
But you also need to be pitching things, pitching yourself, and getting out there in front of the outlet where you want to be, where your audience is, and where you can earn profit from the publicity after you pitch.
And luckily for you, I have just the thing for you to do that. It is my three three day media class, Pitch, Publicity, and Profit.
I will link to that in the description of this video and you can also visit MediaMavenAndMore.com/publicity and get instant access.
It is just a three-day video class, just three days, and you will learn everything you need to know to pitch the media, to get publicity and turn it into profit.
While you’re here, please like this video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe to this channel where I posted videos every Thursday.