As a small business owner you probably wear several titles -director of sales, marketing manager, PR coordinator – just to name a few.  As you work toward building media relations, you may struggle with developing fresh media contacts and/or pitching stories. Knowing the right media contacts and reaching those individuals can be tedious and time consuming work. However, connecting with media contacts and landing coverage in various publications is essential to increasing a company’s SEO and client awareness. For companies that are looking to build media contacts or need a fresh take on story pitches, I recently stumbled upon a great public relations resource – HARO.

HARO, short for Help A Reporter Out, connects reporters with subject matter experts from a variety of fields. True to its tag line – “free publicity – connecting reporters with news sources”, HARO has a membership of over 30,000 professionals. These members are a part of well-known media outlets such as The New York Times, Fox, ABC and Huffington Post.

How Do Professionals Connect With Reporters on HARO?
  • Journalists submit inquiries to HARO regarding stories that they need sources for. Stories are categorized by industry – business/finance, health/beauty, travel, etc.
  •  Inquiries are sent to sources via email multiple times during the day – morning, afternoon, and evening.  The emails are sent by industry theme and include all of the related media inquiries for the day. The journalists are usually very specific regarding their story interest – who they are looking for, the angle of the story, location of the media outlet/publication, and the deadline for the story.
  • If a source believes that they have relevant information for the story, they simply pitch via HARO’s inquiry box.
  • Sources can pitch to as many outlets as they find appropriate. HARO only asks that you don’t spam subscribers.

Signing up as a source is easy, it’s free, and takes less than five minutes. You simply include your contact information, company information, and industries that you would like to be considered as source. Once you are signed up, you receive emails daily with story requests. You literally have thousands of reporters at your fingertips. With HARO you can not only build contacts, but it also gives you an opportunity to frame your company’s story in various ways.

Media relations is an integral process of the PR plan and expanding SEO. Contact JASE Group, a leading public relations and inbound marketing firm, to assist with your next strategic media relations plan.

Journalist Notepadimage credit: grafixtek on Flickr

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