Karen Leland, author of Time Management in an Instant, talks in detail about how to use HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to promote your biz/cause.
Here are 6 tips she learned on how to respect a reporter’s time:
- Do: Respond to a posted inquiry within 2 hours. Yes, I know your busy, and you have a life, but most of these reporters get hundreds of responses to a single post and are usually on a tight deadline. After a certain point they stop looking. So if you want to been seen, be among the first to respond. Responding quickly helps the reporter get what they need as fast as possible.
- Don’t: Respond to a query that is past the due date with an email that starts “I know this is past the deadline but” To put it bluntly the reporter won’t care, they have more than likely already decided on their sources and you have just put another email they need to open in their in box.
- Do: Refer to the topic they are seeking information on in the subject line. For example: If the reporter says they want experts to discuss the mating habits of orangutans, in the subject line back write “Expert on mating habits of orangutans.” This makes it fast and easy for the reporter to do a search through all their emails and find the ones that relate to the topic they are interested in.
- Don’t: Use an abstract or general email subject lines when responding to a query. Most reporters are working on multiple stories at one time, so a non-descriptive subject line such as “Response to your HARO query” is meaningless. Don’t’ make the reporter spend any extra time searching for which story you are responding to (and cursing) you for making their life harder.
- Do: Give a reporter exactly what they ask for. If a reporter says they are looking for tips on how to take a vacation in France on five dollars a day, send one or two of your best ideas and let them know there are more available upon request. This saves a reporter time, because they can instantly see if you have the kind of information they are looking for.
- Don’t: Submit endless paragraphs on who you are, and what you have done. It’s too hard for a reporter to glean from this if you would be a good source.
Check out the full report in the Examiner.