haro help a reporter out alternative
September 12, 2022

What Is Help a Reporter Out (HARO)? Alternative Platforms to Get Press for Your Company

In the digital age, it’s increasingly important to build an online presence and get noticed by potential customers.

Recent statistics reveal that 70% of brand managers believe it is more important to build an audience than to convert sales (Source: Smallbizgenius.net). Further, for someone to remember your brand, it would take them about five to seven impressions.

How do you effectively gain online exposure without spending big bucks on paid advertisements? It means positioning your business as an authority figure in your market and your leadership as industry experts.

That’s why many marketers and brand managers look to HARO to help. HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out, and it is a way to get your foot in the door with journalists and gain exposure through media coverage.

What exactly is HARO? How does it work? Also, is it really worth your time? 

Keep reading this article to further explore these questions and find the best solution for gaining online visibility for your brand.

What Is HARO?

Have you ever wondered how the media finds the people they interview for their stories?

The answer is HARO, or Help A Reporter Out.

HARO is owned by Cision, a company that specializes in media relations and helping companies connect with journalists. It’s a tool for connecting journalists with experts and sources for their upcoming stories—and it’s also a great way to get exposure for your company or blog.

HARO has a reputation as a powerful tool for getting valuable media coverage. It’s how journalists can secure daily opportunities and upcoming stories.

HARO has grown in popularity over the years because it’s an efficient way for reporters to find real people who can give them insights into their work. By using this tool, journalists can get authentic coverage with perspectives from everyday people—not just experts and spokespeople who have been paid by companies to talk about them.

It takes just one minute to sign up for HARO and start receiving requests from journalists looking for information on topics that interest you!

How Does Help a Reporter Out Work?

HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a service that provides journalists with an audience of experts who can answer their queries in real-time.

Monday through Friday and three times daily, HARO emails an audience of subscribers asking for expertise on relevant queries and trending topics. The query contains what you need to be of consideration and included in their topic.

Also, the query contains the deadline for submission and an anonymous email address where you can send your pitch.

HARO is a pitching process for companies that is straightforward, allowing sources to locate topics that would relate to their business and save time locating potential journalists.

Benefits of HARO

Using HARO is simple: sign up for an account, select categories of interest from a dropdown menu, and submit responses using the web form. Yet, there is no guarantee that you will get any results.

While creating and submitting pitches takes a little time and thought, the exposure and traffic it generates for your business are organic and free. Plus, you can develop relationships with journalists and bloggers that would be difficult to create any other way.

Further, leveraging the authority of media sites is a method to brand your business and its leadership as authority figures in your industry. When the media publishes you, you become a thought leader and an industry expert.

Journalists used to spend a lot of time and energy tracking down sources and experts to draft their articles. HARO makes researching articles simpler.

HARO Is A Great Idea But Has Its Share Of Challenges

However, there are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before you sign up.

The Emails Will Come In Fast And Furious

If you don’t have time to sift through them as they come in, they will pile up in your inbox until you can get around to them—which may take longer than necessary if the reporter has already moved on to another story!

Depending on where you live, some of the queries may be expired by the time you review them (like if they were sent out late at night when everyone else is asleep).

Many people use HARO just as an excuse to spam journalists with pitches. This not only makes the journalist less likely to respond but also makes them less likely to use HARO again in the future.

Properly Vetting Sources

Again, HARO is free. The platform itself is user-friendly. You can navigate the dashboard easily. Not only that, but HARO even offers a mobile app too.

As a result, anyone can sign up, and HARO is not vetting the people who do. Unfortunately, someone who is illegitimate can sign up with a fake website.

A journalist or blogger could easily weed out fake accounts by asking for proof of an organization’s social media profiles.

Too Many Websites

HARO is very popular, so there is a lot of competition. A journalist could easily see over 100 responses to their query.

That is why you must be careful with your pitch and prove that you are the source they need. Another important tip is to send your pitch quickly, so you are first to respond and toward the top of the stack. If you wait, you will sink into the pile.

Questionable Queries

While the sources can be sketchy, so can the query. If you are in doubt do quick research or online background check on the publication or journalist. Stick to your niche, but also, when in doubt, wait for the next query.

HARO Alternatives

If you are frustrated by answering lots of pitches and getting zero exposure, it is time to look for HARO alternatives.

There are other places where you can get visibility. LinkedIn is a great platform for finding professionals who are both journalists and professionals interested in your niche market. There is also a way to post articles and newsletters.

Inspired by HARO, there is a platform Help a B2B Writer, which specializes in expert sources and publications for B2B. It is a service that helps you find leads and sources with ease, but it doesn’t have the depth of HARO. This tool sends out mass emails to hundreds or thousands of journalists at once, with no way of telling which ones are actually interested in your story. It’s better than nothing, but not by much.

Terkel is another option that we don’t recommend using because it’s too expensive and not very effective at getting results quickly (if at all). It is a more straightforward platform, which rather than seeking expert input, will post questions to find answers. It has fewer users than HARO and thus fewer chances of getting a response from an expert.

LinkSourcery is a platform that organizes queries from various online sources. LinkSourcery isn’t really a service so much as it’s a website that lets you search for people and companies on Twitter by keyword or location, but it’s not nearly as helpful as HARO because it doesn’t allow you to search by industry or topic.

What Can You Do Instead…

As you can see, there are a few other services out there that can help you gain online visibility, but none of them will be as effective as AmpiFire. If you’re looking for a simple yet effective way to make your brand an online authority, withouth waiting for a journalist to review your response and accept your pitch, AmpiFire is the way to go.

At the end of the day, gaining online visibility is about making sure that people can find your website, read your content, and connect with you. And that’s what AmpiFire does best.

AmpiFire combines strategic content and multimedia to get your business high-value digital placements. Book your demo now to learn more about our simple yet effective way to make your brand an online authority.

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