Online news releases are a great way to get the attention of the media and generate publicity. However, you should also pitch your news to reporters directly. This process has become easy in recent years thanks to free publicity alerts services like HARO (Help A Reporter Out).
Disclosure: Like PRWeb, HARO is a Vocus service. We’re telling you about it because it’s completely free and it can transform your business overnight.
How to Use Publicity Alerts
To get started, sign up as a HARO source. Three times a day, HARO emails you a list of queries from journalists and bloggers who need sources like you for their stories. Each alert is categorized by topic and contains deadlines, reporter contact information, and a brief summary of what the reporter is looking for.
You can reply to any query in the publicity alert, as long as you follow the rules: your pitch needs to be on-topic, respectful, relevant, and you only contact the reporter once per story.
Because publicity alerts are crowdsourced, reporters often receive several replies to the same pitch. But your story can stand out. Here are some ways to increase your chances of being one of the thousands of businesses generating publicity through HARO.
1. Be Prepared.
Read your Publicity Alerts as soon as they arrive to get a head-start on the other business sources you’re competing with. You should also create a clear, well-written “elevator pitch” about your expertise, service or product to have on hand when you need it.
2. Keep it Simple.
Your pitch needs to sell your business, product or brand in a compelling, concise, and informative way. Keep your entire response to three short paragraphs, with no more than three or four sentences in each.
3. Don’t Give Up.
While follow-up is an essential part of PR, it’s considered rude (and against the rules) to chase reporters found through a Publicity Alert if they don’t respond to your pitch. Instead, keep looking. Thousands of other opportunities pop up each week; sooner or later, you’ll find the perfect opportunity for your business.
The more you hone your message, tailor your response to a story, and pitch your experience or expertise where appropriate, the better chance you’ll have. Happy pitching!
One more Vocus Point: to make publicity alerts part of your everyday marketing routine, take a look at the Vocus Marketing Suite, which integrates HARO into one dashboard along with PRWeb News Releases and our social media Recommendation Engine™. Click here to find out more.