Help a Reporter Out and Sell Your Digital Product!

Help a Reporter Out  (aka HARO) is a great resource that I mentioned in my Sell Your Digital Product blog post, and in this blog post, I’m going to show you how to use it like a ninja!

I originally joined HARO when I was more focused on the music marketing space, and I was able to use it to promote my music business eBooks. Thanks to this resource, I received press from Reuters, Associated Press, Miami Herald, and a ton of other places.

Help A Reporter Out: What IS it?

In 2007, HARO was founded as a one man show, started by my cyber colleague Peter Shankman in his NYC apartment. Peter, who is a PR maven, created a daily tip sheet called Help A Reporter Out (HARO) that listed requests from reporters. And back then, he ONLY used email to send out 1,500 worldwide queries a week!

Authors and experts would sign up for the HARO tip sheet which he updated and published a few times a day. The goal was that if you were an expert who could be a source of info, you’d respond to the reporter’s request, and possibly get your name and product mentioned.

In 2010, Peter sold HARO to Vocus, Inc., and The New York Times has called him “a public relations all-star who knows everything about new media and then some,”, while Investor’s Business Daily has labeled him “crazy, but effective.”

Now that I think about it, Peter Shankman was the first person to recommend Twitter to me years ago over lunch, and I agree that he’s always been ahead of the curve.

Help A Reporter Out: How Does It Work?

When signing up for HARO at HelpAReporter.com, you can select the topics that you feel qualified to respond to, and you will receive a few daily emails with reporter queries, which will look like this:

SAMPLE HARO QUERY

You can also access the topics through their website, if you’d prefer not to receive all of the emails, which do add up. Some topics get more requests than others, but HARO covers a lot of ground.  Since signing up with them again, I’ve also been seeing a lot of requests for relationship experts, and I’m considering putting my dating book THE LOVE RESET on Amazon, and responding to requests 🙂

SAMPLE HARO RESPONSE

help-a-reporter-out-3

Help A Reporter Out: Best Practices

Help a Reporter Out can be a win-win proposition when you have a system to respond to queries efficiently and effectively:

  • Consistently check the HARO emails when they come in (sometimes there will be a RUSH request)
  • ONLY respond to requests that you fit
  • Pay attention to the deadlines
  • Create a pitch that tells the journalist who you are, and how you are an expert (this is where you mention your eBook or digital product), mention other media outlets where you’ve been quoted, then share your answer to the question posed.
  • If there is a question asked in the post, answer the question in your pitch email, from a few sentences to a paragraph.
  • Be brief. No long stories, unless requested
  • Avoid answering the post with a question. Imagine that the reporter is on a deadline, and needs an answer right away. The earliest and best responses have the most luck.
  • If the reporter asks for other people to contact, and you know some, SHARE. This is what will make you a source worth returning to.
  • Email the pitch, and let it go (Don’t send reminders/followups to the reporter unless they ask 
  • Rinse and repeat

READ RELATED: Sell Digital Products Online

Finally keep in mind that the reporter may forget to let you know when your article will appear, so use Google, and don’t be a nudge. You can also set up Google Alerts so you can be notified when your name or digital product have been mentioned in the media. When a writer knows that you’re professional, and fast, they will sometimes contact you for other articles in the future.

Visit: Help a Reporter Out

Are you ready to help a reporter out?

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