The Dawn of the New HARO!

Have you joined my incredibly non-annoying, once-in-a-while email newsletter?

Got some great news to share, today, gang:

When HARO was acquired by Vocus in June of 2010, I promised that there’d be no changes to the HARO – It’d still be free, it’d still do everything we told you it would do, and that when we did have changes, they’d benefit you, and you’d hear it here first.

All of those things are still true. And today, we’ve got some really, really great news.

First off – Still want the HARO the way it is, free, with nothing else? Done. You got it. We promised we’d never take that away, and we won’t.

There are some good optional changes coming, though, and I want to share them with you.

In a few weeks, we’re going to debut the dawn of the new HARO.

One of the biggest requests we get from you is to have the ability to customize the queries you receive. While I personally think it’s cool to be able to read all the queries, because you never know where one might fit in your life, you’ll soon have the ability to receive only the queries you want to receive, and you can filter them down by keyword. So, only want to receive queries relating to Manatees? Done. Finance? Done. Strip clubs in Lima, Peru? Done. The option to receive only those queries you want to get has been the number one request for a while now. So there. You got it.

I get tons of emails all the time – “Peter, I saw a query last night on Peru strip clubs, but I accidentally deleted the email. Do you have it?” And I always answer you back. (Meaning I forward the emails on to our editors, who answer you back.) But now, you won’t have to ask. You’ll be able to initiate a a search, anytime you want, of all open and active journalist queries on HARO. That means, any query by any journalist that hasn’t ended (via their deadline) will come up in your keyword search. This will be another way to target specific outlets with your specific news.

You’ll be able to create a bio and profile on our site now – Meaning that you can point the journalist right to the key information about you or your company. This will save you tons of time when pitching, and the journalist will know they can safely click through to the link you provide them.

I’m excited about this one – SMS alerts. You’ll be able to get SMS alerts when any queries match your specific keywords, allowing you to be ready to answer the HARO as soon as it hits your inbox.

Finally, (and this is cool…) You’ll have the option of an “Early reply/delayed send” feature. Essentially, it means that if a query comes up that matches your keywords, you’ll have the option of being notified about it as soon as it hits our system, but before the HARO goes out to the masses, giving you more time to craft a response. But, (and this is important) When you send the response through our system, it’ll be held until the HARO with that specific query in it goes out to the masses. In other words, while you’ll have more time to compose your response, it’ll be sent when the query is made public to the masses – This way, our members who choose to stick with the original HARO won’t be shut out, and everyone stays on a level playing field.

Of course, some of these new features will cost some money, and they won’t be for everyone. And that’s cool. The regular, free HARO will never change, and you’ll still get it in your inbox, three times a day. But for those who want a little something more, now you have the option to get it.

I think this is the best of all possible worlds. I made you a promise that the HARO would stay the same when it was acquired, and I’ve kept that promise. We’ve added on some new features, and we think you’re going to like them. It’s funny – I kind of feel like Jeff Smisek. Perhaps I’ll start repainting some planes and co-locating some facilities.

Seriously, though, we’re excited for these new changes, and I think you will be, too. As always, I want to hear what you think. Questions? Comments? Leave them below, and let me know what you think.

And, as always, thanks for being here.

-Peter Shankman

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