Maybe you would like to land more media coverage for your website so that you can grow your brand, or perhaps you want to drive more customers to your site and get more traffic.
Whatever your goal, in this article you will learn how surprisingly easy it is to get more brag-worthy media coverage to your website for FREE. You do not need to spend a small fortune to achieve this!
One of the best ways to get more media coverage of your website is to use HARO, also known as Help a Reporter Out.
How to Grow Your Brand with PR
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is one of the best platforms right now to get more PR for your website, and grow your brand by getting it out there.
Keep reading to learn some of my best tips and tricks for exactly how to get featured successfully using HARO. Following these tips and tricks will get your responses to the top of the pile when it comes to HARO replies. My mission with this blog is to help you grow your website.
How To Get Started With HARO
Help a Reporter Out is kind of like a marketplace for journalists and reporters. They post to the site when they’re looking for stories and people reply to these stories and pitch to them to get their story featured.
For example, a journalist or reporter might post asking for someone to reply to a particular story. You would reply with your opinion and if you’re featured successfully your name will be mentioned in the publication.
This might also include a reference to your website, your brand, and who you are. The awesome thing about HARO is that it is also completely free.
HARO Is Easy And Free to Use (So You Can’t Lose!)
When it comes to PR you can easily pay a few hundred dollars to get featured. With Help a Reporter Out, it is completely FREE. That is the main reason that using HARO is win-win. You can get featured and the publication gets free content.
Publications don’t need to pay expensive writers, or spend time researching, and they get expert opinions from people like you pitched to them by HARO. Big websites like Fox News, New York Times, and Mashable all use HARO, so it is the place to be right now.
It only takes about 30 seconds to sign up and once you’re in, you receive email updates a couple of times a day. This email breaks down all the latest opportunities for you to pitch and reply to. Sometimes they are anonymous so you have no idea who they are, and other times the publication is listed.
Responding to HARO Queries
Some of the deadlines to pitch are quite short, so it is best to nip your response in the bud quickly to make sure you get featured on time. To respond to HARO queries it’s as simple as writing an email. All you have to do is write a few sentences. Even your Grandmother could do it!
I recommend not writing any more than a few sentences because it is not necessary to write a novel length response. You can keep it short, simple, and straight to the point.
You can ensure quality over quantity by following these tips:
- don’t write a huge wall of text
- split it up into paragraphs
- make it easy to read
- format it nicely
Doing this means that journalists can easily copy and paste that information straight into their article.
When you reply just imagine it like posting a comment on a blog. I recommend that you make it actionable, valuable, and very useful to the person that is reading it. The more useful your response is the more likely that it is that you will get featured.
It is important to understand that there is a bit of a knack to optimizing your HARO response to make sure you get to the top of the pile. Because journalists receive so many responses, you want to make sure that yours really stands out.
That it’s unique and different from everyone else’s.
I have been featured a few times by using Help a Reporter Out and it’s very easy once you know how to do it. Keep reading and I will explain a few hacks and ways you optimize your HARO response to make sure that you get featured.
1. Show Personality
The first thing I recommend is that you show a bit of personality. When responding to HARO pitches you should write the same way that you talk. You are pitching to a journalist, not the Queen, so you don’t need to be overly formal when you reply.
Don’t use greetings such as, “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam“, and be informal and conversational when you reply to people. I also recommend keeping it short, consistent, and straight to the point.
2. Sell Yourself As The Best Person For The Article
It is important to recognise that pitching is selling, so sell yourself in your HARO response. It’s time to become Charlie Big Potatoes and explain why you’re the best person to be featured.
It’s important not to go too overboard or be too arrogant. Simply explain why you are authoritative and credible. This goes a long way in making sure that the journalist takes you seriously, and understands that you’re the best person to feature in the article.
For example, you’re responding to a pitch about cats because you own a Burmese cats website that gets 10,000 visitors a day. Use any sort of information or proof to convince them that you are the expert on the topic.
3. Fulfil Requirements
Make sure that you fulfil the requirements when you respond to HARO pitches. In email breakdowns from HARO there is a requirement section that shows what the journalist is looking for in responses.
This might be a headshot, a link to your website, or a bit about you and why you’re the best person to be featured. Whatever it is, make sure you include it in your pitch.
Ensuring that you have addressed the requirements lets the journalist know that you have read and understood the post. This makes it as easy as possible for the journalist to feature your comment.
4. Keep it Short, Simple, and Straight to the Point
Keeping your responses short, simple, and straight to the point is important because journalists receive a crazy number of pitches every single day. If they run a big publication they are likely getting cold email pitches and responses to their stories.
There are 800,000 people registered on HARO and just like you, they are all looking for featured opportunities. If you want to get featured do not send them a big wall of text. Simply send them a few sentences that are straight to the point and very easy for the journalist to reply to.
If they can just copy and paste that comment straight into their article, that’s even better because you have streamlined the process and made it easy for them to feature you.
5. Offer Unique Opinions
Finally, come up with unique responses. If you write the most obvious answer, so have the other 20 or 30 Joe Bloggs who responded to that pitch. Come up with a unique opinion that you are sure no one else is going to consider. It will make you look a lot more credible and authentic, and make your pitch stand out.
Another important tip I recommend is using storytelling to make yourself look more human. This will ensure that the journalist connects to your story and increase the likelihood that you will be featured.