Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a great way to gain some free press. Help a Reporter Out connects experts like you to journalists.
Here’s an example of how it works.
So in a nutshell sign up as a “source”. Help a Reporter Out will email you queries and you will respond to the ones that are a good fit.
But there is a catch…
Help a Reporter Out is going to send you queries 3x a day! And each email is going to be PACKED full of requests from reporters. If you do not have time to read through each email, looking to see if you are an expert in anything, do not worry, I have a hack for you!
My HARO Hack Will Save You Time and Money
HARO allows you to pay a big monthly amount to make sure only relevant queries get to you (plus there are some other perks for paying) OR you can use the FREE version. With the free version you’ll receive emails 3x a day as I described above. The answer to surviving with the free version is FILTERING. Yes, set up your own filter within your email account so only relevant queries end up in your inbox.
Here’s how to set up HARO filters using Gmail or Google Apps for Business. If you use another email service, read below and google how to set up filters.
1. Click the gear at the top right.
2. Select "Settings".
3. Select "Filters".
4. Select "Create New Filter" from the bottom of the page.
5. In the “From ” field type email@example.com. Under “Doesn’t have” put any words you DO want to see. Personally I ONLY have Jersey in this field so I can find out what reporters are looking for in New Jersey . You may want to list city names, your state, “massage therapist”, etc. Use OR between different terms for example: Michigan OR Massage Therapist OR Detroit.
6. Select “Delete it” or you can also pick “Skip the Inbox (Archive it). Basically you just told your email system to get rid of any emails from HARO that do NOT have your keywords in them!
HARO is a great tool but their emails that come in will most likely overwhelm you. Play with the filter system until you end up only getting leads that are a good fit delivered to your inbox.
I'm Laura Occhipinti, your go-to social media manager and business strategist.