Help a Reporter Out

January 14, 2009 in 5 out of 5 stars, PR and Publicity

What is it?

Help a Reporter Out - Logo Help a Reporter Out: An email list you can join, which sends out several emails a day with notices of stories for which reporters need a source. You can then respond, and potentially be used, linked to, or otherwise publicized in the news piece.

Who makes it?

Peter Shankman

Why is it the killerest?

It has great potential to help you get press, and establish yourself as a source, and authority in your area of expertise.

Some queries are interested in products, services, or just expertise in a given area.

Some of the queries come from large news organizations like MSNBC and FoxNews, magazines like Redbook Magazine and Popular Mechanics, newspapers like The New York Times, and bloggers and podcasters looking for content.

If you’re serious about PR (and if you’re an entrepreneur, why wouldn't you be?) then this can be a great resource.

What could be improved?

This is not a list of the feint of heart. You get about three emails a day, packed full of queries, roughly organized. The potential upside is quite large, but it may take a good week of sifting through these before you find something you really can respond to with authority.

With the growing popularity of the list, there’s no guarantee that responding will get you ink.

How much does it cost?

Free for all parties (sources, and journalists). You just get a big ad at the top of the email to help Peter pay for it all.


See a screenshot below from part of an email sent out this morning.

HARO screenshot

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HARO is also a great networking tool. I rarely find stuff that relates personally to me, but at least once a week I find something worth sending to someone in my network. Adding value to them helps me stay top-of-mind.

Posted by: Jeff Stern | Jan 15, 2009 9:26:05 PM

Ooh, awesome additional benefit, thanks Jeff, hadn't thought of that one.

Posted by: Carson McComas | Jan 15, 2009 9:41:52 PM

This is great! I am a writer myself, and I see myself in these reporters' shoes (who are most probably lost and stuck on one spot thinking of a good source) and this will definitely save me a lot of time. This is like a perfect hybrid of crowdsourcing, networking, marketing, customer service and writer's block medicine (if there ever was one).

Posted by: Marie | Jan 22, 2009 10:03:32 AM

Does anyone know of any other free resources, similar in functionality as HARO? I can't find any other "free" competitors out there, just pay as you play.

Posted by: James | Jun 10, 2009 4:50:23 PM

This is a wonderful service for both reporters and pr people. I find at least three or four listings a day to help my clients. I've been quoted in several publications as a expert already, without even trying :)

Posted by: Sherry Gavanditti | Jun 17, 2009 9:59:00 AM

Just a little news that is going to happen in Mpls.

Posted by: charlie | Jul 16, 2009 11:19:49 AM

A little news happening in Minneapolis on Thursday 23rd

Posted by: charlie | Jul 16, 2009 11:20:42 AM

please add me to the list

Posted by: Carolyn Zimmermann | Aug 31, 2009 4:55:31 PM

I just signed up for the free service and was wondering about the paid subscription. Has anyone here actually responded to and was quoted in an article? Just wondering if it is worth it...

Posted by: Janice | Oct 19, 2011 11:53:30 AM