Top Four Ways to Get More Relevant-to-you Queries on Help A Reporter

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By popular demand… The top 4 ways to make HARO requests more relevant to you:

4) Ask yourself how well you really know your clients: Every time I sign a new client, I sit with them over pizza (or whatever they want to eat, I usually make it pizza…) and ask them seemingly off-the-wall, off-topic questions. What do you do for fun? You fish? Got any kids? How old? Public school? Private? Are you married? For how long? Parents still alive? Belong to any civic organizations? Perform? Play an instrument? Any clubs?

See where I’m going with this? The more information I find out about each of my clients, the more potential I have to pitch them to reporters who might be doing stories that aren’t entirely up their professional alley, but fit them in a personal way – And when was the last time you ever had a client get angry for getting them, and their company name, into a major publication? If your client, in his or her spare time, is a rock-climber, or a master-Bass fisherman, or whatever, there are a ton more media opportunities out there. So go find out what your clients do when they’re not sitting at their desk, and then apply that to HARO requests, as well! I remember once getting a client into Cigar Aficionado magazine because the company CEO liked Cohibas!

3) Suggest story ideas to reporters! Too many times, publicists get shot down when pitching because the pitch is the same: “Cover my client, write a story about them.” This is obviously pointless.

But – Broaden the story! Make it about an industry, or about a specific way companies are starting to do things – Your company is still in the lead, but you can offer a “bigger” story. Then, recommend HARO to the journalist as a way to find additional leads for the story – That was you’re not just “handing” the journalist competitors to you or your client. “I notice that several companies are doing XYZ this year – I think it’s finally a trend. Of course, my client has been leading this charge since 2004, I’m happy to give you the CEO to chat with…” Story landed.

2) If you wait a few weeks until after the reporter who used HARO is done with their story to pitch something different, it’s not off-topic!

Off topic pitching only applies when a reporter issues a query and you reply with something completely NOT what they want at the time they don’t want it. If you wait and pitch them when they’re not insane with deadlines, “I noticed a few weeks ago you were looking for sources on A. Now that your deadline has passed, would it be ok if I sent you a pitch on A+b2? It’s similar, but different enough that it could warrant a separate story. Any interest?” That’s a good pitch!

1) Finally – the hands down, number one, no-questions-asked best way to get more relevant queries on HARO: TELL MORE REPORTERS ABOUT HARO! Fact is, a small fraction of the reporters out there in the world currently know about HARO. Simply tell more of them! Send an email out to every reporter you know, offering HARO as a solution to their query problems. Tell them it’s free. Tell them I’m nice. Tell them you’ve had other reporters use it with great success. Tell them you’re helping them out, don’t want anything from them, and are just doing it because you’re a decent human being.

Send reporters here:

Send your publicist friends here:

Look – I’ve even written the letter FOR you. Just cut and paste this. How much more brain-dead do you need it?

Help a Reporter Out helps editors and reporters locate authors and other subject area experts willing to be interviewed for articles, books, blogs, and podcasts. Once you register–for free–you will receive up to 3 e-mails a day, each containing up to 10 detailed queries from reporters looking for individuals willing to be interviewed.

If you’re a journalist looking for individuals to interview, visit the press page at and submit your query. Your query will go out to over 10,000 publicists, small business owners, and other professionals and experts in all walks of life, increasing the chances of you finding that hard-to-find source pre-deadline.

If you’re a source, simply sign up for the 3x per day newsletter at

Got any ideas yourself? Post them below!


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