Our experts have shared 7 HARO submission tips that can help you make a lasting impression on reporters

Looking to get media coverage for your business? Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a powerful platform that connects businesses and journalists, offering opportunities for press coverage. However, with thousands of submissions flooding in daily, it’s essential to strategize your HARO submissions to maximize your chances of getting noticed.

In this article, we will provide you with seven valuable tips to help you optimize your HARO submissions and increase your chances of earning media coverage. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting selected as a source and gaining valuable coverage.

What is HARO?

HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a platform that connects journalists with sources for their stories. Founded in 2008 by Peter Shankman, HARO has become a popular tool for reporters and journalists to find subject matter experts, industry professionals, and sources for their news articles, TV segments, and other forms of media content. The platform works by sending out three daily emails to registered sources, in which reporters post queries about the topics they are writing about. These queries typically include a brief description of the story, what kind of source the reporter is looking for, and the deadline for responses. Sources can then respond to these queries directly through the HARO platform, potentially earning themselves a media mention or interview in the process.

What are the benefits of HARO for publishers and sources?

Before we walk you through our list of HARO submission tips, we need to go through the benefits that publishers enjoy when you ( as a source) respond to HARO queries. It’s also important to highlight the benefits that you or your brand can look forward to when you successfully submit a response.

Benefits for publishers

  1. Access to a large pool of potential sources: HARO has over 800,000 sources registered on its platform, which means publishers have access to a vast network of experts and industry professionals who can provide valuable insights and information for their stories.
  2. Time-saving: HARO allows publishers to save time on research and outreach by providing a platform where they can easily connect with relevant sources.
  3. High-quality sources: HARO verifies the credentials of its sources to ensure that they are genuine experts in their fields, which means that publishers can be confident that the information they receive is reliable and of high quality.
  4. Free to use: HARO is a free platform for publishers, which means that they can save money on research and outreach.

Benefits for sources

  1. Exposure: By responding to queries on HARO, sources have the opportunity to get exposure for themselves or their brand, as their quotes or contributions may be featured in news articles, blogs, or other media.
  2. Networking: HARO provides sources with the opportunity to network with journalists and media professionals in their industry, which can lead to new opportunities and collaborations in the future.
  3. Expert positioning: HARO allows sources to position themselves as experts in their field by providing insights and information to journalists and other media professionals.
  4. Free to use: HARO is a free platform for sources, which means that they can promote themselves or their brand without having to pay for advertising or PR services.

HARO submission tips from publishers

If you’re interested in submitting responses to HARO queries as a potential source, here are some tips to help you make the most of your submissions:

1. Read the query carefully:

Before you submit a response, make sure you understand what the journalist is looking for. Read the query multiple times to ensure you fully comprehend what they are seeking. Take note of any specific requirements or guidelines for the response.

2. Respond quickly:

Journalists often have tight deadlines, so it’s important to submit your response as quickly as possible. Ideally, you should respond within a few hours of the query being posted.

3. Be concise:

Make sure your response is clear, concise, and to the point. Don’t ramble or include unnecessary information that may cause the journalist to lose interest. It’s best to keep your response to the point and focused on the question asked.

4. Offer value:

Among the HARO submission tips in this article, offering value is the most important one. Provide useful and relevant information that adds value to the journalist’s story. Avoid promotional content that only benefits your brand or business. Instead, focus on offering helpful insights, tips, or advice that the journalist’s audience would truly be interested in.

5. Provide relevant background information:

Include contact details such as your name, job title, and relevant background information that establishes your expertise in the topic. Additionally, provide any links to your website, portfolio, or social media accounts for the journalist to refer to.

6. Make sure you’re a good fit:

Ensure that your response is relevant to the journalist’s needs and requirements. Avoid submitting a response if it’s not within your area of expertise or experience. Doing so will only annoy the journalist, and possibly even prompt them to blacklist you. This can negatively affect any future submissions that you might send to the same journalist.

7. Follow-up:

Sometimes journalists may not get back to you, so it’s important to follow up after submitting your response. Keep it short, polite, and professional. Thank them for considering your response and offer to provide additional information or insights if needed.

In summary, to have a successful submission on HARO, be prompt, offer valuable insights, establish your expertise and follow up when needed. Keep your response clear, concise, and relevant to the journalist’s request.

How to prepare for follow-up after you’ve submitted a response

Choose someone to be your contact person

This is one of the most important HARO submission tips, even though it only applies after you’ve sent your submission. It’s important to think beyond the now when you’re sending a pitch to any journalist. As we’ve already said, journalists work on tight timelines. As such, they can’t afford to wait around for a response once they reach out. For this reason, it’s wise to assign someone the responsibility of responding to any journalists who reach out whenever you respond to HARO queries. Beyond that, you need to think ahead and prepare responses to potential questions that the journalists might ask.

Prepare responses to potential questions beforehand

If you wait to start crafting your responses when a journalist reaches out, then you’re essentially risking losing the opportunity for coverage. After all, a journalist who has a short turnaround time on their stories is unlikely to wait around for you to craft the perfect response. If you take too long, the journalist will have no qualms moving on to the next source.

Prepping your media contact on the correct and approved responses beforehand will ensure that you’re ready to respond to any follow-up questions from a journalist. Once you’ve prepared a list of standard responses to potential questions, then it’ll be easier to develop responses to any questions that you hadn’t anticipated. On the other hand, if you’re responding to everything from scratch and you’ve not thought about any of the questions a journalist has beforehand, it could take days to craft a response and get signoff from whoever needs to sign off on your responses.

Everything you need to respond to HARO queries

In conclusion, submitting to HARO can be a great way to gain exposure and media coverage for your business or brand. By following some key HARO submission tips, you can increase your chances of having your response selected by journalists and bloggers. First, make sure to read and follow the instructions provided by the requester. Second, tailor your response to the specific request and provide valuable and relevant information. Third, provide your credentials and expertise to establish your authority on the topic. Fourth, proofread your response and ensure that it is well-written and free of errors. Finally, be timely in your response and follow up with the requester if necessary. By incorporating these HARO submission tips into your HARO submissions, you can increase your chances of being featured in media outlets and reaching a wider audience.