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November 5, 2009
Be a Reporter's Web-Based Source

Crystal Wang at the Prowl Public Relations blog of a student-run Temple University PR firm tips us to a nifty site for relating to reporters by serving as Web sources for them, HelpAReporter.com. Its full name is Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and has over 100,000 persons who have signed up as information sources and keeps growing.

To be effectively relational, of course, the sources are expected to be accurate and trustworthy. The HARO list began on Facebook but outgrew that site. Each day it sends out up to three e-mails with anywhere from 15-30 queries. 

"We built this list," say its founders, "because a lot of our friends are reporters, and they call us all the time for sources. Rather than go through our contract lists each time, we figured we could push the requests out to people who actually have something to say."

How reliable such offerings are will surely influence the degree to which journalism becomes a Web-related trade.


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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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