HARO is a powerful way to build free PR. For the most part, I have been using HARO as a source. Writing Lead The Stampede motivated me to become a reporter on HARO as well. I have learned a lot about HARO over many months, and there was a point when I had many questions. These are the 5 most frequently asked questions about HARO.
- Why does it take people so long for reporters to get back to me? This was on the top of my list of questions. I did not get to know the answer to that question until I decided to become a reporter. Sending out an email with hours or days to spare gives you enough time to come up with a response. However, the reporter needs to read all of those responses. As the reporter reads the responses, that reporter needs to do research on every person. The reporter wants to interview the best options, and the weeding process takes some time. It took me an hour to read through 45 responses. Imagine how much time it takes someone who is from the Associated Press or Forbes to read the responses they got. In addition, the reporter has to contact possible candidates with individual emails/interviews which takes up more time. This is why people are rarely told if they got rejected. There simply is not enough time in the day to send out that many emails and still do everything else such as writing blog posts or scheduling tweets.
- How do I get more reporters to accept me? We all want the reporter to say yes to us. We all want to be in the Forbes article, the first page of The New York Times, or any other big magazine or TV channel. The three components that go into getting more reporters to accept you are how much time you put into your response, how clear your response is, and how quickly you respond. For some reporters, you could be the first or last person to respond and still get featured. However, most reporters usually look for no more than 5 people, and some queries get well over 100 responses. When you send out your response to the reporter, include your bio and credentials in the email. Instead of letting the reporter guess or do more research to figure out that you are the right fit, use your bio and credentials to convince them that you are the right fit.
- How do I become a reporter? The main requirement is that your blog or website needs to have an Alexa rank under 1 million. Just like all other places on the web, HARO does have restrictions on inappropriate content and using HARO to promote products. Remember that HARO is something to either get free PR or find people to feature in a book or blog post. HARO is not a place to tell the world to buy your product. These are HARO’s official rules.
- How frequently do the responses come in? That depends on a lot of factors. The best way to get more responses is by asking a clear question with a summary that is crystal clear. Being an anonymous reporter or being a reporter from The New York Times also plays a part in the process. When in doubt, list the media outlet as your blog’s URL. That will give readers something to see that proves you are influential on the web. In some cases, responses can come in at 15 minute intervals while others come in shorter or longer intervals. It all depends on how clear the query is and your media outlet (but don’t lie about who you are either).
- Is the workload worth it? The workload is worth it both for the reporter and the source. The source gets free exposure. Some sources get to be in front of millions of people just because they took 15 minutes out of their day (ideal amount of time) to respond to a HARO query. For reporters, the workload is worth it because you will be able to connect with incredible people. HARO has allowed me to connect with many people who have been featured on big media outlets such as Forbes, CBS, NBC, and many others as well. As a reporter, being able to tell your readers that you were able to talk with someone who was on the Today Show will give you preeminence because you were able to get that person to talk to you. For both ends, the workload is more than worth it.
Those are the five most frequently asked questions about HARO. Do you have any questions about HARO that I did not address in this blog post or thoughts? Please share them below and I will respond as quickly as possible.