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3 Ways To Rock HARO: Media Relations Tactics That Boost Mentions

Closeup of employee in the office working on laptop computerFor publicity and media relations, the Holy Grail has long been to appear in the media as an expert source of information or the subject of an interview/discussion on a compelling topic.  But how do you get invited to appear in the media? While some media outlets still rely on traditional means of expert research, more and more are employing online services like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) to connect with sources.  

HARO is an excellent media relations tool, and here are some strategies for making it even more effective:

1) Become a broker.  Think about everyone that you know both professionally and personally.  You’re probably connected to a vast network of experts on a variety of topics.  Tap into that!  As you read HARO queries, don’t just think, “Can I contribute to this,” think, “Do I know anybody who can contribute to this?”  If you see a query that matches someone in your network, reach out to both parties and broker a connection.  This is a great media relations win – you’ll be helping both your connection and the reporter – and they’ll remember that in the future.

2) Keep an internal database.  When you see an interesting query, the first thing you should do is record the outlet and reporter.  Soon, you will have your own database of people and publications that routinely cover topics relevant to you.  Also keep meticulous records of any queries you respond to that don’t materialize.  Remind yourself to find the story when it publishes and pay attention to the source that was used.  Why that person and not you?  Look for clues that can help make you more marketable.

3) Connect with HARO.  HARO posts urgent requests on Twitter and engages with sources and reporters on Facebook.  You can really become a media relations hero by helping an urgent tweeted request, and keep up with discussions on Facebook to glean tips from both sides of successful matches.