Source Success with Help a Reporter (HARO)

Reporter Microphones

We talked about how to pitch HARO successfully in a previous blog post so we thought it’d be a good idea to showcase the flip side of the coin: journalists who have had success finding sources through HARO. I’m not a journalist or reporter per say, but I am an avid blogger here on bloggingprweb.com. Because of that, I utilized HARO to crowd source answers for my recent piece, Pitching through social media, yea or nay?, and got some amazing answers.

How do you make sure you get matched with the best sources possible? After meeting and following the guidelines for submission, be sure to: 1) Give accurate contact information. You want your potential sources to be able to contact you wherever you want to be reached—don’t forget to include your email! 2) Provide your name and the outlet which you are writing for. Good sources are more likely to respond if they can put a name to a face after researching you and your outlet before submitting. Sources also want to know where their info and quotes are going, so be honest when posting who you are writing for. 3) Be detailed in your query information: be as specific as possible when asking what you’re looking for so you get the most relevant answers as possible—don’t generalize your story, otherwise you’re opening your inbox to floods of pitches. Only looking for regional sources to contribute to your story? Say so! There’s no use in getting pitches from New York when your pub has a Los Angeles focus. 4) Category: sources reading the 3x daily HARO emails look at the category that they are an “expert” in. use the most relevant category to your story and also provide a secondary category so your sources can find you. Lastly, 5) Deadline: provide enough time for your sources to respond to your query and submit it well before your deadline.

Here are just a few journalists who got great stories using HARO:

“I recently did a feature for the Los Angeles Times’ Image section on women who love to wear men’s fragrances. HARO got me a slew of great anecdotes from women all over the country in just one day. Nearly all were on-target and it saved me ages of haunting social media and department store counters for sources.” –Janet Kinosian

“I want to thank all the folks who’ve responded to my queries over the past few months. Your pitches and ideas have helped make my column, Distinctly Green, and my radio feature, Eco Trends, real successes. You’ve provided me with some of the latest amazing eco-friendly products out there and have graciously introduced me to corporate leaders who were able to provide critical information that made the stories great.“ –Debra Atlas, Environmental journalist/Professional blogger

“A few months ago I was looking for article ideas for Air Canada’s in flight’s, enRoute, Higher Learning section (“An international crash course in anything from cheese making to scuba diving to ranching, told from a personal perspective but in such a way that it teaches the reader about both the activity and the place it’s taught.”). I received more than 100 responses to my queries and sold two articles. The online version of the first one was posted (it’ll appear in print too). HARO made it really easy for me to get great article ideas and be put in touch with the resources I needed to see those ideas become published articles.” –Zach Everson

“I found my source through HARO, and it made it to the main page of CNN.com today. Thanks so much!” -Kat Kinsman, Managing Editor, CNN Eatocracy

“We were looking for Cancer Survivor stories to include in our Fall 2010 issue of A Distinctive Style magazine. The ideas we received for the Cancer piece were absolutely wonderful and made this edition a huge success! Olivia Newton-John graced our cover and shared with us the importance of self breast exams, Fran Drescher told our readers about the importance of early diagnosis, and Namrata Sing Gujral writer of “1 a Minute,” shared her amazing story and documentary with us. Everyone that shared their personal stories of courage, determination, strength and perseverance with us are helping so many others! As a result of running this piece we are seeing readers coming to our magazine in record numbers.” –Denise Marie, A Distinctive Style Magazine

Here is where you can read more reporter testimonials. Have you used HARO to source answers for a story? Tell us about it!