By Alex Katzen
Aug 1, 2013
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I went over some useful tools for blogger outreach a while back and mentioned the importance of Google Alerts and other search platforms to find bloggers, but it’s also important to consider other larger scale, generic PR opportunities.
Blogger outreach is great when you have something specific you want to share and promote. It’s more of an outbound PR tactic, though, relying on a high degree of relevance to, and relationships with, the bloggers.
A more inbound PR tactic, though, is serving as a source to writers on their articles and posts. For example, instead of conducting outreach on your content, you can provide expert information to bloggers and journalists on topics they’re writing about. One major source that I always find to be helpful is HARO (Help A Reporter Out). HARO is an “online service set up for journalists to quickly gather feedback from the public.” It’s an extremely useful tool for digital PR professionals because you can cover more ground, faster since the queries are delivered straight through email, and provide information to journalists who are already looking for sources.
I use HARO to find great opportunities for my colleagues here at Search Mojo to jump on, since we have so many people with so much subject matter expertise. It’s easy to forget that there are several thought leaders in your company on all different types of topics, so take advantage of their knowledge and offer up this information in exchange for some added publicity. Then boom, both parties are happy and a new relationship is formed.
HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a site intended to get the word out about possible PR opportunities. It even holds the slogan “Everyone is an expert at something.” This service is especially useful for small businesses, but large media companies like The New York Times also use it.
Journalists submit queries, and experts offer themselves as sources. It’s free and as easy as responding to emails, and it gives your business personal branding credibility.
When you sign up for an account at HARO, you’ll receive three emails a day with queries broken up into different categories. The journalist will list the topic and their request, whether it be a specific response to the topic or an interview. I’ve found I receive high response rates when I keep my response short and to the point. Also, it’s important to respond to the query as quickly as possible, since the journalists will generally receive a lot of responses from potential sources. Because of this, you’ll want to use a creative, attention-grabbing title related to the writer’s topic. Make sure to check the deadline listed and apply as soon as possible to increase the success rate.
Generally, the blogger will include a link back to my company’s page, but if for any reason they don’t, I simply email asking if they wouldn’t mind including the link. Once the post is up, I share it with my company as well as on social media, making sure to acknowledge the writer. I like to save the writer’s contact information to keep in touch and build on my blogger relationships.
Have you used HARO? What other tools do you use to find PR opportunities?