There are some essential steps you need to follow when you use HARO to pitch Journalists as a source.
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HARO | How to use the “Help A Reporter Out” service

There are some essential steps you need to follow when you use HARO to pitch Journalists as a source.

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Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.

HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is a service that connects journalists with sources for articles and resources to interview. 

Sources provide quotes and context for articles, while publications gain content and backlinks.

Using HARO can be a great way to get linkable content ideas – by answering reporters’ questions, you share your expertise with the online community, which can generate links back to your site.

However, there are some essential steps you need to follow when you use HARO.

We can divide these into two categories, technical and ethical considerations. Let’s look at the technical first.

Technical:

Use a Real Email: When registering with HARO, use an actual email address, not one that looks like it might be dodgy, such as [email protected].

Create a separate email account just for HARO and keep it strictly for this purpose. Never use this address to submit your website as a source in another article, even if the publication prompts you to provide one –- they will almost certainly not link back to you.

Reply quickly. Reporters need a quick turnaround on information, so try and reply within a few hours.

Don’t use auto-responders. Reporters might get annoyed if you take too long to reply and drop you from the list.

Use No-Reply: Make sure your email address is no-reply, don’t let HARO send messages to a generic “info” or “marketing@” account. This kind of email will cause your message to be marked as spam or not replied to, meaning you could miss out on opportunities.

Be Courteous: Be polite and never demand that the publication link back to you. If they are interested in your content, it will come.

Ethics:

Don’t Promote: Reporters need a source to quote in their article, not a promotional tool. It’s crucial that you bear this in mind when answering questions and only provide sources when it doesn’t look like your aim is to get backlinks through the publication.

Also, don’t spam journalists with links or irrelevant information. For example, if they ask for sources on dog training, don’t send them information on how to train tigers. Instead, be specific and only provide the source when it’s relevant to the question.

How Journalists Find Sources Through HARO

Journalists set up an account with HARO to publish requests for sources. To find sources, the journalist can select the categories which are relevant to their article’s topic.

Reporters have asked for sources on topics including online marketing, small business, self-employment, community news, entrepreneurship, health, lifestyle, and so much more.

The journalist receives pitches from writers that would like to be considered as a source. The journalist can then select the angles that fit the article. It is up to the writer to convince the journalist why they should choose the writer’s pitch.

How to Find Out What Stories Journalists are Working On

All you need to do is sign up to Haro with your email address, then search for journalists or publications currently looking for sources. You can even filter the results by date if you know what they are looking for and need to narrow down the results.

HARO keyword searches are a great way to find out when journalists plan to publish articles so you can get your sources in quickly before it goes live.

You can also use Twitter’s search function to find relevant journalists who are currently searching HARO. Then, follow them or send them a direct message to let them know you are interested in hearing more about their story.

Remember, journalists want relatable and exciting sources, so think about what might appeal to them when answering questions. 

Also, don’t answer every question as this makes you look like just another source and not a valuable contact. Instead, take time to carefully select the ones that will give you the best chance of being featured.

What to Do Once You Have Provided Sources

Once you have answered a question and received coverage, make sure you follow up with the journalist. Thank them for including your link, and remind them that if they need any more sources in the future, they know who to contact. 

Following Up is an essential step because journalists are always very busy and might need another quote in the future.

Some will even continue to contact you for advice, so it’s worth keeping your details up to date on HARO. Don’t expect anything though, be grateful when they contact you again and maintain good relations with everyone so that if an opportunity arises where they might need a source, they will think of you first.

The most important thing is to enjoy the coverage and use it to build up your reputation as an expert in your field. 

After all, HARO exists so that journalists can find the best sources for their stories, and you need to be one of them!

How To Become a Source with HARO

1. REGISTER: Join the HARO sources community to receive email requests from journalists who need your expertise via the free daily email alert service.

2. CHECK YOUR EMAIL: Receive a short, descriptive request from a journalist in your area of expertise daily at 5 am, 12 pm, and 5 pm ET. The subject line for the email alert will be HARO Source Request.

3. PITCH: Respond to the reporter’s request with information about your expertise and availability, along with any suggested interview times to help them meet their deadline. If you cannot assist with their query, feel free to forward the inquiry to someone who might be able to help.

Haro Subscriptions

Haro now offers subscriptions for bloggers that wish to be sources for journalists. The subscription service offers four plans. The basic plan is free, and the most advanced plan is $149.00 per month.

The plans vary in the total number of keywords you can use for research and alerts, the number of profiles, text alerts, and support.

How to Pitch a Journalist through HARO

You can pitch the journalist when you receive an email from HARO that lists a story you might be interested in.

Here’s How:

The Subject Line:

For journalists to trust you with information about their story, they want to know that you’re a good source and not some random PR guy. 

A subject line of “Pitch: [TEMPLATE]” is an indication that you’ve read the reporter’s request and have something valuable to offer them. 

Conversely, subject lines like “I love your article” or “Hello” are less likely to get your pitch forwarded.

The Pitch:

If the reporter has asked for sources, offer one to three well-thought-out options to support their story. 

Journalists receive hundreds of pitches every day, so don’t waste their time by just sending links. Instead, give them factual information that helps them write their story. 

If you can’t give them sources, offer information that will help the journalist write their article.

When a journalist who went through HARO to find sources receives a pitch from a well-thought-out subject line and concise email with valuable resources or information to augment a story, they might include you in their story.

  • Be concise, don’t ramble on about your product or business.
  • Provide links to relevant articles or other sources that will help the journalist do their job.
  • Never demand a link back to your site. If you are mentioned in their article, it’s more than likely they’ll include a link.

Your Name:

When a reporter includes an expert in their story, they will have the source’s name and their affiliation. Getting listed as a source is one of the most valuable ways to get your name out there, so make sure you provide accurate information that matches what you do for a living or who you are.

Closing

You can use HARO to your advantage as a publicist by replying to requests related to your clients and products with helpful information that will support their efforts in getting out the word about what they do.

FAQ

What does HARO Stand For?

Help a Reporter Out

How long will my pitch or profile remain active?

The pitch is only good while the reporter is working on that particular story, while your profile can be found by journalists even after you’ve sent your pitches.

Can I submit more than one pitch per request?

Of course! There are usually multiple sources for each story, so give them several options.

What happens if I submit my pitch to HARO?

If the reporter is working on that particular story, HARO will forward your email to them, and they might include you in their article.

How Can I get started using Haro?

You can sign up for The Basic Plan (Free) and see if this type of service is right for you before jumping into a paid plan- and remember, you can always downgrade or cancel at any time.

What is the difference between HARO Basic and Pro Plans?

These plans vary in the total number of keywords you can use for research and alerts, the number of profiles, and the number of emails (each plan has a limit to how many you can send per month).

How do I upgrade my HARO Plan?

To upgrade your subscription, sign in and navigate to ‘My Account page. Here, you’ll see an option to purchase a new plan. If you’re currently on the free version and decide to upgrade, you’ll only have one week of free access before your account will be downgraded to the Basic Plan.

How do I use HARO?

Login to haro.com with your email and password.

HARO will present you with a list of possible requests based on the keywords you’ve chosen, choose one that applies to what type of source you are trying to become.

Follow the instructions in the body of the email carefully. You can find more information about each step by reading the different sections of this guide.

Pitch your information to that particular journalist when the time is right, make sure it’s well thought out and informative.

If you are mentioned in their article, be sure to send a link!

How can I contact a journalist through HARO?

You cannot contact a journalist directly through HARO- you can only send your pitch and wait for them to get in touch with you if they decide to!

How do I cancel my HARO subscription?

To upgrade your subscription, sign in and navigate to ‘My Account page. Here, you’ll see an option to purchase a new plan. If you’re currently on the free version and decide to upgrade, you’ll only have one week of free access before your account will be downgraded to the Basic Plan.

Where does my information go when I reply to a reporter’s request through HARO?

When you reply to a reporter’s request, the information you submit is sent directly to them.

What happens after a journalist responds with a ‘Got It’?

If they decide to use your tip, they’ll let HARO know via email, and HARO will forward their message to you so that you can check out what was included in the article.

What are HARO Queries?

These are keywords that you can use to search for a specific type of journalist request.

What is a HARO Source?

A HARO Source regularly provides information to the press for free in exchange for source attribution.

Does HARO cost money?

To use HARO, you must have a subscription. However, a free plan is available if you want to try it out before purchasing a premium subscription.

Lori Ballen is an entrepreneur who makes money online through blogging, video, social media, and other content marketing strategies. She's a 6-figure affiliate marketer and coaches others on how to make money online. SEO, Search Engine Optimized Content is her specialty. Lori is the creator of Ballen Academy and owns a real estate business in Las Vegas, NV.

Lori Ballen

I teach bloggers how to grow their blog, and make money through multiple streams of income. From affiliate marketing, to building courses, I share 7 income stream strategies through blogging.

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