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HARO Helps Reporters — and PRs — Get the Story Out
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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Whether you’re PR’ing a new product for wine lovers, represent an oil and gas association, or are an expert on small business startups, you should not overlook the value of HARO — Help a Reporter Out. HARO helps connect PRs with the media looking for products and sources for their stories.

It’s easy to access, free, and highly effective. PRs (or Sources) simply sign up to receive three emails a day, Monday through Friday, at 5:35am, 12:35pm, and 5:35pm EST, with requests from reporters and media outlets worldwide.

Sources scan the emails and, if you’re knowledgeable about any of the topics, answer the reporter directly through the anonymous @helpareporter.net email address provided.

Some recent queries include:
  • Workouts that are ideal for winter
  • Dogs and new baby
  • Booze-related gift guide
  • Need skin expert for short interview
  • Interior design trends for 2016
  • Looking to interview bestselling authors on writing tips and marketing
  • Insanely opulent holiday getaways 
There are, however, strict rules for PRs when responding to queries that — if not adhered to — can result in you getting banned from using the service. “HARO works on mutual trust and support.”
  • Going off-topic and not responding EXACTLY to their query is considered spamming. If they want to talk about “this,” do not send them something about “that.” Queries are very specific.
  • Do not include attachments. They’ll let you know if they want one.
  • Do not pitch products, unless they specifically ask for one.
  • If you are replying to a source request on behalf of your client, directly reply with your client’s response. Do not reply solely with “My client can speak about this.”
If used correctly, succinctly, and professionally, HARO can be an excellent public relations tool for any campaign. You can access HARO through this link.


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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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