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How to Pitch HARO Successfully

Robyn Reynolds, Organize2Harmonize: “I am a professional organizer. I responded to a reporter wanting information for an article on yard/garage sales. I was contacted and subsequently interviewed and wound up on the pages of Woman’s Day Magazine. Very exciting!”

Jon Gelberg, Blue Fountain Media: “Some of the recent HARO driven placements include Mashable, Dell, IdeaMensch, StartUp Growth Expert and ABCNEWS.com. We’ve also gotten some off-beat placements through HARO, including our CEO Gabriel Shaoolian’s profile on Cool Single CEO.”

Trinda Latherow: “Thanks to HARO, I was able to not only assist in a reporter’s request, but also a charitable organization. A reporter for Rand McNally wanted to find Haunted Houses throughout the country and my nephew is the founder of SCARECO. Through the referral, he was able to place his Haunted House information with Rand McNally and received much welcomed publicity.”

Wired Magazine referred to HARO as “crowdsourcing for news” and ReadWriteWeb said HARO was “PR for startups.” You’ve heard of the monster query and pitch solution by the name of HARO: making it incredibly easy for you to get media coverage without cold calling or paying a dime. But how do you make sure your pitch is selected? After receiving so many positive HARO user testimonials, we pulled together these tips on pitching HARO queries successfully:

#1) Read the query carefully and follow all directions set forth. Some queries ask for a specific subject line, some ask for lists of info in a specific order. If you don’t follow the rules, your foot in the door just got thrown into the trash.

#2) Respond quickly. Getting seen first may mean that your pitch gets more time being evaluated. With the potential of hundreds of others pitching the same query you are, responding way before the deadline gives you a leg up.

#3) Keep it short and sweet. The folks covering your story don’t want to read two whole pages before they have even decided that they will use your info. Pitch the most relevant info in no more than one to three short paragraphs, and provide great contact details in case they request additional info.

#4) Lay off the follow-up calls. If they like your pitch, they will contact you.

#5) Be polite. If someone contacts you for a follow-up and says they’re placing your story, make sure you thank them and show your appreciation! Promoting their publication is one of the easiest ways to do that. Give them a shout on Twitter or “Like” their Facebook page.

#6) Create a relationship. Creating a relationship with the media that submits HARO queries is a good way to make sure your chances of getting hung up on are less. Learn more about what they write about and their target audience so you can plan your pitches for queries ahead of time. Networking means you’re available to answer any other queries they may have, and if you’re connected with them in other places than HARO, they may reference you for a future story.

#7) Become a point of contact. Maybe you can’t answer a specific query, but a friend or colleague may be perfect for the story. Refer your friend to the query or tell the reporter or blogger to contact your friend (via the five rules of HARO, don’t post the query anywhere publicly). Becoming a hub for information is a good way to get you noticed and remembered in the future.

#8) Respect the reporters and bloggers you contact. HARO user Jon Gelberg says to only reply to a query if you have real expertise to offer. If you have such expertise, reporters will appreciate your help and will certainly be open to working with you again in the future.

#9) Never pitch off topic! HARO was created exclusively to avert off topic pitches – those that “don’t offer the reporter exactly what they need… get banned from HARO,” said Peter Shankman.

Got a great tip for pitching HARO? Send us a Tweet @PRWeb and we’ll use some of the best tips in a follow up post with a link to your Twitter handle.

About Cision Contributor

This post was written by a guest Cision contributor.

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