- 9 Oct, 2012
- Jon Tucker
- 0 Comments
- HARO, link building, PR, publicity,
Getting exposure on Forbes.com or CNBC is supposed to be for the most elite of elite companies. But with access to just a few simple tools and the discipline to spend 20 minutes per week, any business can get coverage on major media outlets and grow their business.
Why Journalists Need You
When writing an article for a newspaper, major blog, or magazine, journalists need sources. They’re usually looking for specific sources that can provide specific commentary for their piece, but the bottom line is that they need sources. You are the source they’re looking for.
Think of it like this:
- A blog post about the trend toward overseas manufacturing needs the viewpoint of manufacturers and distributors of domestic products
- Newspaper articles discussing how companies are “going green” need insights from companies that have considered going green and decided not to proceed
- A magazine profile of mobile apps revolutionizing various industries needs commentary from users and potential users from these industries.
How Journalists Find Sources
Before the internet, journalists pounded pavement and worked their network to find sources for pieces they were working on. Journalists that regularly covered the financial sector gradually built a network of potential sources they could call upon for articles they were writing.
In the internet age, this process has become easier – and you can benefit from this. Journalists now have websites they can go to in order to send out requests to business owners and consumers for commentary on articles they’re writing. In short, journalists send out a request for commentary from potential sources and you can be one of those sources.
There are a few websites where journalists go, but the most popular is HelpAReporter.com, or HARO for short. Here’s an example:
What You Should Do
By following a few simple steps, you can get exposure in media outlets large and small which boosts your credibility in your industry and has the opportunity to drive a ton of traffic to your website in the process. And, it’s good for SEO since you’re getting links to your website.
- Register for HelpAReporter.com (HARO) – it’s free to become a “source”. They’ll try and upsell you, but you really don’t need a paid account for this…
- You’ll receive requests from journalists – HARO calls these “queries”. Depending on your HARO account settings, you get a few emails per day which usually amounts to 25 queries – of these, around 5 of them will be relevant to your industry. In most cases, you’ll see 2-3 home run PR opportunities come across HARO for your business each week.
- Respond to the requests on HARO – You just email the journalists through the address on the query. Be concise, answer their query, and write in a way so they can use it directly in their article. In most cases, the journalist is going to ask a specific question which you can answer in just a few sentences. Answer the question, provide a brief bio, and send it out to them.
- You’ll hear back after the HARO deadline – A few days after the HARO deadline, the journalist will respond to you with additional info or maybe just tell you that they’ve published the article with your commentary. Congrats – now you’re in the media!
Huge Traffic and Massive Revenue – Seriously
Obviously t’s not going to be a cakewalk each and every time, but if you spend 20-30 minutes a week you’ll get a few mentions in publications each quarter, some of which can do wonders for your business. We had one client monitoring HARO for opportunities and responded to a simple query about young entrepreneurs – this ended up getting published on CNN Money which was picked up by Yahoo Finance.
He received 16,000 website visitors in one day when it was published, $1,000’s in sales that same day, and 1,000’s of additional website visitors and sales per day for the months following the publication – a huge win for the business, achieved by responding to a simple request from a journalist.