Help A Reporter Out: Marketing’s Hidden Tool

Are you looking for innovative ways to enhance your brand’s visibility?

If so, you’ve probably heard of the term “Help A Reporter Out” (HARO). If you haven’t delved into reading and responding to HARO requests, you might not realize the value they can bring to your brand. Essentially, they’re a simple way to get your name out there and boost your credibility.

The best part? All it costs is your time!

So, let’s unravel the mystery of HARO and how it can be a hidden tool in your marketing arsenal.

Table of Contents

What is HARO?

HARO is an online service platform that connects journalists with expert sources. This helps reporters, writers, journalists, and bloggers find credible sources for their stories.

While this offers obvious value to those journalists and writers, it gives businesses and marketers a unique opportunity to gain valuable media coverage. For digital marketers, it also acts as a source for quality backlinks.

How Does HARO Work?

HARO operates in a straightforward manner. Once you sign up with your email address, HARO sends you emails containing the latest queries. These queries come out three times a day, typically at 5:35 AM, 12:35 PM, and 5:35 PM ET. Each email contains several HARO queries from journalists seeking expert responses to their questions. Each query usually includes a brief description of the proposed story, the name of the media outlet running the story, a deadline, and a way to contact the journalist.

If you find a query that matches your expertise or is relevant to your business, you can respond directly to the journalist. You can answer their questions and provide expert insights, tips, and opinions.

Each writer likely receives a lot of responses. So, it’s helpful to focus on a subject line that catches the journalist’s attention. Of course, the content of your email should contain information valuable and relevant to the query to increase your chances of being selected.

Benefits of HARO

HARO offers various benefits for marketers, small businesses, and subject matter experts.

First, it offers you the chance to become featured in high-profile publications. This helps provide free, varied content for your business. This can increase your brand awareness and recognition, boost your credibility, and potentially help increase customer trust.

Second, HARO provides a valuable opportunity to build backlinks to your website or blog. When the journalist you’re helping features you in their article, they often include a link to your site. This can help boost your page’s SEO and drive organic traffic to your website.

Third, engaging with writers through HARO can help you build long-term relationships. This can help provide opportunities for future collaborations and increased exposure.

How to Use HARO as a Marketing Tool

So, HARO is clearly helpful, but how should we use it in our marketing? Of course, there’s no one way to use HARO effectively. However, you could increase your chances for success by keeping in mind the following tips:

Be Selective

Not every HARO query is relevant to you or your business. Even if you have a quality answer, it’s unlikely to help your business without a direct correlation. So, be discerning when picking out queries. Pick ones where you can truly shine as an expert in your chosen field.

Craft Compelling Pitches

Assume that the writers using HARO have to sort through tens or hundreds of responses. Make opening your response worth their time. Make sure your pitch is concise and engaging. Grab their attention with the subject line. Clearly and thoroughly answer the query, but be brief. If your response requires a table of contents, you may want to scale it back!

Essentially, if it would help your CTR in an email campaign, it could also help your HARO response get picked!

And, of course, include contact information where the journalist can follow up or reach out for future queries.

Be Prompt

The journalists using HARO have tight deadlines. While the query likely features a specific response deadline, providing prompt answers can help make their job easier. So, try to respond as quickly as possible to the HARO email.

Leverage Social Media

If your response is chosen for the finished piece, share it on your social media! Tag the publication featuring your answer. Maybe even interact in the publication’s comments!

Social media marketing can help you enhance your brand’s reach and visibility. Combining that with the publication’s social media presence—however briefly—can help potential customers find you easier.

Track Success

Track any coverage or responses you receive from journalists. This can help you refine your pitches and responses to help you find more success in the future—and then repeat that success over and over!

Be Professional

If your responses are written professionally, they’ll feel more authoritative. This helps convince the journalists that your answers are credible and can increase their chances of selecting them.

Provide Complete Contact Information

Alongside your pitch, provide your complete contact information. This makes it easier for the journalist to get in touch with you and builds trust and authenticity.

Foster Relationships

HARO responses don’t have to be one-off tasks. If you can, try to establish long-term relationships with the journalists whose queries you answer. This can increase the chances of them thinking of you when they need input on future stories, which can help improve your visibility even more.

Utilizing HARO Beyond Just Backlinks

While backlinks are valuable, establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry can be just as helpful. This can open up additional opportunities for you and your brand, such as speaking engagements, collaborations or partnerships with other brands and creators, and even new leads.

In short: HARO provides opportunities for networking and building brand awareness.

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