4 Mistakes That Keep You From Being a Reporter’s Top Resource

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Being quoted by a reporter or blogger is one of the best ways to get media attention with minimal effort. Now, just because it’s not overly complicated doesn’t mean there isn’t a right and a wrong way of doing it.

I’ve been on both sides: I’ve been quoted by the media, and I’ve gotten quotes from people for articles I’ve written. Let me tell you, most people don’t put much attention on the process, and as a result, they don’t get to take advantage of that opportunity of being quoted.

Here are some of the mistakes I’ve seen that you can avoid.

1. You Don’t Follow Instructions

I use Help a Reporter to find sources for articles I’m writing, and I’m always very specific to say “send tips directly.”

Instead, what I often get is a two-paragraph bio of the “expert” with a phone number to call for an interview. Guess where those emails go? Yep. My trash file.

A reporter’s time is extremely limited, and when you follow her instructions, you actually make it into the running to be quoted from the dozens of others who also respond.

Want more HARO best practices? Get our free tip sheet!

2. You Go Into Far Too Much Information About Yourself


You don’t need to prove your qualifications to a journalist beyond a sentence description with a link to your site. They’re not hiring you; they’re quoting you. If your quote is good, they can click the link to learn more about you.

Including a lengthy bio without being asked comes off as egotistical, and again, you get moved to the bottom of the pile.

3. You Don’t Provide Enough Information About Yourself

The converse is also true: if you don’t include any details about who you are, the journalist has to hunt for them. And that’s a pain, trust me.

If you respond to HARO queries, make sure to put your name, title, company and contact information in the email. 

4. Your Quote is Self-Promoting

A journalist wants a quote about the future of your industry, and you manage to work in a mention of your amazing product. No one cares, dude. This story isn’t about you, but you’d be a part of it if you could provide an unbiased and non-promotional viewpoint to the journalist’s readers.

If you want to get quoted in articles and blog posts, do what the reporter asks. Follow up in a timely manner (not an hour after you send the quote) and ask for the link to the article when it goes live so you can help promote it.

How can PR pros improve? Find out in our 2021 State of the Media Report.


About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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