Episode 17

Published on:

30th Nov 2022

How Podcasters Can Use Help A Reporter Out (HARO)

In 2008, a guy by the name of Peter Shankman created a really cool tool to connect journalists with sources. It has become a great tool for public relations and finding opportunities to pitch your expertise.

Today, I discuss how to use HARO and some best practices for pitching yourself as a source. I also talk about some things that you should not do with HARO.

Links to the things we discussed this episode:

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Fuzz Martin 0:00

n as a Facebook group back in:

Fuzz Martin 0:52

So how does HARO work? Well, let's say a journalist is assigned an article and they need an expert, but don't have a source, or they want a different source. Well, they can post on HARO, and then sort through all the pitches they receive. Each day HARO sends out three emails three times a day, to all their free subscribers. And you can sort through all those emails and all of the different listings available, and see if there's one that fits your niche.

Fuzz Martin 1:22

Here's a for instance, I'm looking at HARO right now and I see an opportunity in an online publication called bustle, which is geared toward women, or a fitness expert. Here's the listing from the journalist on HARO, I'm looking for an explainer on how to do certain exercises on an exercise bench looking for how to do the exercise on a bench step by step, how many reps and sets to do and the benefits of the exercise, slash which muscles it works. If you're a trainer, please see my questions below. And then it lists out seven different exercises that whoever is pitching the journalist should speak to. So let's say you're a fitness experts, and you have a fitness podcast, you can reply to this listing with your pitch and say, Hey, I'm a fitness expert. Here's my response to each of these seven things, and how I would do those. And here's my name my credentials, and you're out, that journalist could choose to use yours, they could choose to use somebody else that pitch them, or they can choose somebody completely off HARRO, but that opportunity is there and it wouldn't have been for you without HARO.

Fuzz Martin 2:28

It's really easy to get signed up go to help a reporter.com. To get signed up for it, it's free, they do have some premium versions, which I'll talk about coming up in a little bit. But it is free. And you do get three emails every day for the rest of your life. So here are some things to note when you are using harrow to pitch journalists, number one, and most importantly, only respond to pitches that are in your area of expertise. If they find out that you're pitching things that aren't your area of expertise, and you're spamming these journalists, they will boot you from the service.

Fuzz Martin 3:04

Number two, if you see a listing that matches your area of expertise, respond immediately drop what you're doing and respond because they get hundreds of these and usually they'll sort through them right away. And when they find the source they want, they'll close that off or they won't read anymore. So when you see it come through, be hungry.

Fuzz Martin 3:25

Number three, and I'm going to take this directly from harrows rules for sources. You're supposed to reply with complete relevant answers to their questions and include a short bio and your contact information.

Fuzz Martin 3:36

Number four, don't attach anything to your pitch, their system automatically strips out anything your headshot, PDF, image, whatever that is, it will strip it right out of the email. So don't bother attaching anything to your pitch.

Fuzz Martin 3:50

Number five, it's super competitive, so your pitch has to be really tight. And speaking of that, number six, you should only pitch in 300 words or less, it might cut you off, I don't remember if it cuts you off or not. But 300 words is the max that they want you to pitch with.

Fuzz Martin 4:06

Next, anonymous posts are typically from larger publications. So if you see one that says anonymous, it's typically from a really big publication. And they just want to keep their story locked down before they publish it so that people don't steal their stuff. If you're going to reply, let's say somebody forwarded you an email from Harrow and said, Hey, this one might work for you. You have to be signed up in order to pitch a journalist. So even if it's a free account, you need to be signed up through HARO, otherwise that email will just reject you.

Fuzz Martin 4:34

Number nine, don't pitch your podcast pitch your expertise. Your podcast can be in your bio information, but do not spam your show. Show them your expertise.

Fuzz Martin 4:45

And number 10. You might get into an article right from your pitch. That's great. And the journalist might also not tell you that they used your stuff, not as great. So make sure you know which journalists and publications you pitch to too, and then look at the deadline and search that publication a week or so from then and see if you got picked up or not. If you don't get into an article, do not contact them and ask why you didn't get in, just read what they wrote, and use their style and information to improve your pitch for the next time. Again, don't reach out to them and say, Hey, why don't you take my info? That's bad form. Again, you can sign up for harrow free at helpareporter.com. I'll link in the show notes. Just a reminder, one more time, this is an email that comes out three times a day, and it will get overwhelming, but it's really all or nothing. So you might want to use a separate email address for harrow or keep a folder and set some rules in your email inbox. So harrow emails and responses go right into that folder and skip your notifications otherwise, you will be swimming.

Fuzz Martin 6:00

They do have a subscription that gives you the ability to filter one keyword for $19 a month, three keywords for $49 A month or unlimited keywords for $149 per month. There are also some other features with those more premium versions. But you know what he could do you could just do a little command or ctrl F on your keyboard and do that filtering yourself.

Fuzz Martin 6:24

So there you go HARO. Help a Reporter Out. It's available at helpareporter.com. I hope that helped you out with some public relations tips for your podcast. You can help me out by subscribing to Good Morning, Podcasters! If you're listening for the first time, please be sure to subscribe and or hit the little plus button in your pod player. full articles are available and goodmorningpod.com. Tomorrow I'll share some thoughts and experiences on hyper local podcasting. Thanks for listening and we'll talk to you again tomorrow morning. Right here on Good Morning, Podcasters

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About the Podcast

Good Morning Podcasters!
Marketing, Advertising, PR and Social Media Tips for Podcasters
Good Morning Podcasters explores marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media topics as they relate to podcasting and content creation. The show is hosted by Fuzz Martin—an agency owner and former broadcaster. The show is published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with regular bonus episodes of "Podcasting Sucks!" with co-host Jeff Townsend on Saturday mornings.

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Fuzz Martin

Fuzz Martin is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at EPIC Creative in West Bend, Wis.