How to Use HARO and ProfNet to Get Media Attention

content marketing, content management, newsjacking, social media, digital marketing, SEO, online marketingHARO (Help a Reporter Out) and ProfNet are two online resources that experts and reporters turn to when seeking exposure or looking for sources for stories that might appear in print, podcast or video formats. For those hoping to establish their thought leadership, these tools, and others like them, can be a very cost-effective way to gain media exposure.

Success With HARO and ProfNet

We’ve gained exposure for ourselves and our clients multiple times through these tools. You can see some of the places we’ve been covered on our website’s home page (bottom left).  We also use HARO and ProfNet when seeking sources ourselves for blog posts, articles, or other forms of written content.

There are some key best practices we’ve picked up over the years from being on both sides of the aisle—looking for sources and pitching sources. Here we share our top three.

Top Three Tips for Getting HARO/ProfNet Exposure

1) Only respond to pitches that you are truly qualified for.

HARO has been overrun recently, in my opinion, by “trash” responses from people clearing seeking only to attain backlinks and obviously (again in my opinion) using content generation tools to develop their responses. If you don’t have the credentials/expertise the reporter is looking for, don’t respond. If you do, and do so repeatedly, you’ll fall off their radar screen and likely be blocked. I have a number of names I’m now familiar with that I delete responses from without even looking at them because their input has been so irrelevant or off the mark.

2) Respond in detail with the goal of providing real value to the ultimate audience.

The readers of whatever type of material the reporter is creating. A lot of journalists/reporters these days are busy and more likely to use detailed written responses than to take time to interview sources. Providing relevant detailed information can boost the odds that your input will be used. A side benefit is that, since you’ve actually documented your response you’re more likely to be quoted accurately.

3) Avoid the sales pitch.

Sure your objective in responding to these pitches is likely to raise awareness for yourself, your products and services, and to ultimately generate sales, but don’t pitch in your response. Simply answering the questions appropriately will serve to convey your expertise and build credibility. It will also improve the odds that your input will be used, often along with a link back to your website or LinkedIn profile which can help to generate website traffic.

Must-Haves for Success

It is not difficult to get exposure through HARO and ProfNet. It does require, though, that:
  • You actually are an expert and qualified to weigh in on whatever the topic is that a reporter is looking for.
  • You provide a complete response that is focused on providing value to whoever the ultimate audience is (not the reporter, but the people they are producing this material for).
  • You avoid being overtly self-promotional.
  • You are timely and responsive in the event the reporter seeks follow-up information.
  • You don’t pester the reporter to use your input, check in with them incessantly, or badger them to send you an update on whether your input has been used.

Following these basic tips can help you achieve the exposure you’re looking for, not just once, but over and over again.

What additional tips/recommendations do you have to offer?


About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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