You might have heard about HARO – and you might be wondering exactly what it is, why people keep talking about it, and what it can do to help you as a web publisher.
HARO stands for “Help a Reporter Out” and it is basically a platform that connects reporters and media writers to the sources that help them provide expertise in their articles.
How HARO Works
Users can sign up as a source or as a reporter. It’s free to register, and once you’re registered as a source you’ll receive emails three times a day with a list of topics and questions that reporters would like to have answered. If there’s a question related to your field of knowledge, you can submit a pitch – and if the reporter likes your pitch it may end up as a quote or snippet in their article. It may even come with a backlink, but at the very least you’re likely to get a brand mention and some additional visibility as an expert on the topic.
There are also paid subscription options that will allow you to filter for your favorite keyword and set up a profile for quicker responses and pitch submissions.
HARO’s Benefits for Sources
As mentioned above, the primary benefit for HARO sources is the mention. If your pitch gets quoted, you’ll probably get your name published – and maybe even a link to your website or favorite social media profile.
That may not sound like it’s worth the effort and the rejected pitches, but HARO’s reporters have published HARO sources in the following high profile media outlets (as well as countless others!)
- Chicago Tribune
- Fox News
- New York Times
In addition to the organic traffic such a link or brand mention can create, it’s also one of the best and most reliable ways to get an in-content, dofollow link from a major brand. Who knows? If the story blows up it could even be the first step to doing TV spots as a guest expert.
HARO’s Benefits for Journalists
While most web publishers utilize HARO as a means of marketing and brand promotion, it is also a powerful tool for networking and content creation.
If you’re a reporter or even a blogger assigned to a hot topic that you’re not terribly familiar with, HARO can help to quickly connect you with the people who know it best. Got an idea but fuzzy on the details? That’s exactly where a source can help you turn a topic in to a fully developed piece of content.
Verdict: Strong Recommend
HARO provides a lot of potential benefits and almost no downside. The worst that could happen is that the emails can start to pile up and your pitches don’t get published. Sometimes the story just doesn’t even end up happening at all.
But marketing and promotion has always been a numbers game and you’ll never get your story picked up if you don’t put it out there. What’s better than a free way to put it out there where some of the biggest names in online (and offline!) publishing can see it? I haven’t found it yet, but if you know of a better marketing platform, let us know in the comments!