Help a Reporter Out (HARO) provides clients with real-time media opportunities from journalists. Queries for story sources are delivered via email three times daily and via text alerts. Opportunities can be searched and filtered based on keywords.
Ranges from $19 per month to $149 per month. A free version is also available.
Kelley James, corporate PR manager at Wargaming America, has been using HARO for about three years.
How do you use it?
You start getting real-time media alerts immediately on the first day you sign up for an account.
Once you log on to HARO’s dashboard, there are sections for queries, pitches, bios, and alerts. The query section has a list of all media opportunities broken out into categories – business and finance, lifestyle, technology, and more.
If you sign up for a free account you get queries from all the categories. The paid account is much more tailored to our needs because I can remove categories that are irrelevant to us.
The bio section is great – it allows you to submit bios for different people at your organization. For example, if I see a query tailored toward business intelligence, I know our head of global business intelligence would be a great fit, and all I have to do is click to add his bio when I respond to that query. It takes that tough part of giving background out of the process.
HARO houses all pitches you’ve sent so you can see on a broad scale what you’ve pitched and which spokespeople you’ve used the most.
We haven’t had many issues with HARO, but the support system is great if you need it. You just email customer support and they usually respond within one to two hours.
How does it serve your business needs?
Having a platform that aggregates all media opportunities in one place is a dream come true for corporate communications managers.
The video game market can be extremely niche, and it’s often hard to break out into more mainstream media. HARO helps generate broader awareness through placements in these types of outlets and through placements across multiple media categories. We secure coverage from about 50% of the queries we respond to.
Using HARO, I’ve been able to catapult our global business intelligence team to business intelligence and data fame.
Getting stories placed about the monumental changes we are making in the tech space has helped us raise awareness that we are more than just a video game developer and publisher.
HARO also helped us create higher brand awareness through story placements that show how we’re using tech to improve our products.
We’ve also done special CRM reports and Big Data reports through HARO contacts.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
It’s browser-based. It also works through Outlook.
What are the main benefits?
Receiving email alerts on queries multiple times a day without having to log on to HARO.
The ability to store bios on the site is really convenient and saves a lot of time.
Also, it’s very helpful to be able to segregate media opportunities through the different categories HARO offers.
Cision offers a great editorial calendar, but it’s not updated frequently. HARO provides real-time media alerts, and you know your responses are going to be sent to a reporter.
What are the main drawbacks?
The majority of deadlines for media opportunities are geared toward East Coast time, so you have to be diligent about checking emails first thing in the morning if you’re on the West Coast.
What would you like to see improved/added?
Nothing really in terms of functionality, though it would be nice if HARO had chat functionality.
I’d also like to see more high tech story opportunities. I’ll typically get three to five tech opportunities a day compared to 20-plus lifestyle opportunities.
ProfNet: a PR Newswire platform that connects journalists with expert sources. Subscribers are emailed queries, can pitch experts to member journalists, and more.
Muck Rack: provides tools to locate, monitor, and pitch journalists and bloggers. Searches can be conducted by topic, publication, beat, or links used in stories or other mentions. Email alerts about relevant mentions are sent in real time.