By: Samantha Murphy – Bayshore Solutions Digital MarketingTeam

HARO, How it Can Benefit Your Business & Online Marketing Strategy

Would you like to be seen as an industry expert and media source, while gaining free coverage with one tool? Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a free online service boasting with 30,000 bloggers and reporters and is a resource to 80,000 news sources around the globe. Recently purchased by Vocus in June 2010, HARO was designed to help reporters on a deadline looking for reliable sources without having to fumble through a rolodex or by reading hundreds of irrelevant email pitches.

HARO allows smaller to mid-sized businesses to obtain a slice of the pie when it comes to recognition in the press and promoting their brands and products. For SEO purposes, getting free links and obtaining valuable backlinks from major news sources such as NY Times, Business Week, and CNN just to name a few, is a major bonus.

Here’s how it works, when you visit it will first ask you to create an account under reporters or sources. It will then give you an option to pick a category such as Business and Finance, High-Tech, Biotech and Healthcare, Education, Entertainment and Media, Lifestyle and Fitness, Travel, Public Policy and Government, Sports, Giftbag, Energy and Green Tech or General. After picking your category you will receive two emails a day with a list of topics waiting to be reported on. After clicking on a topic that your company could be a resource for, a detailed summary including the media outlet, reporters email, and story deadline will show.

Some new features have been added to HARO but, may be associated with a cost. You can now create a company bio and profile as well as sign up for SMS alerts when any quires matching your keywords are posted. There is also an “Early Reply/Delayed Send” feature that gives you the option of being notified as soon as a query goes into the HARO system but before it’s sent out to the masses. This feature allows you to have more time to respond but, when you send the response, it will be held until that specific query goes out to everyone.

HARO can be used by anyone trying to focus on branding, increasing traffic to their site, generating leads, and ranking higher in search engine results. Putting HARO into your marketing plan is easy and could be an invaluable asset to your branding efforts.


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