These two platforms connect journalists with experts. HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. These “matchmaking sites” hook journalists up with experts who can answer their questions and help them with their research.
ProfNet is designed for public relations experts who want to pitch their organizations to journalists. You set up your profile on the site and set preferences for which types of queries you’re interested in.
When a journalist is looking for sources to help cover that breaking news story, they’re going to look over their databases. If you match their criteria, they’ll contact you.
HARO will deliver an email three times daily (5:45am; 12:45pm: 5:00pm EST) to sources, listing dozens of queries from reporters looking for experts.
They’ll describe the type of story they’re working on and list what expertise they’re looking for. You can reply to the queries and give your qualifications.
Let them know why you’re the perfect person for that story. In addition, HARO is free but offers a paid selection with more filtering options.
There are a couple of other similar service as well. SourceBottle includes a searchable database of active queries so you can hook up with the right journalist. PitchRate is mainly for bloggers and website owners, but it’s the same sort of game: they’re looking for experts to comment or post articles on their sites.
Here’s some advice from a HARO writer (Ritka Puri):
Focus on the story instead of your bio. “I care about what the interviewee has to say and am less concerned with how many patents the person holds.”
Stick to the system. Don’t email your contact directly. They’re likely using the HARO system to organize their queries and an email will get misplaced.
Make and keep journalist relationships. When pitching, mention whether you’ve worked with a journalist before.
Answer the question in a direct way. Don’t just ask if they’d like to interview you. Give them a direct reply to their question so they can decide for themselves.
Be personable and helpful. Your contact should contain a friendly introduction, a fun fact, keywords or bullet points that describe your story, and humility!
And of course, you could create a press release that will not only help you gain authority, but generate targeted traffic by helping you rank in the major search engines for relevant keywords.
Press releases are still incredibly viable marketing tools, so be sure to check them out. They’ll help you get attention, generate buzz and create brand awareness.
Here are a couple resources to look into:
And here are a couple of articles to help you create the most effective press release for your business: