Lessons Learned from HARO

by | Aug 17, 2012 | Business | 3 comments

This is a follow up to the question asked here:

What lessons have I learned from HARO?

Can I save you some grief and pain during your HARO adventure? Possibly, although a lot of it is trial and error.   Here’s a list of things I do to make this even more fun (as if you can’t tell I already enjoy it?)


• Lately I’ve been opening up all 3 HARO’s in the early evening.
• I scan through the morning edition first, in case there was a “same day deadline”
• When I find something I’m interested in, I cut and paste that portion of the message into a new email on my computer, and then go back to the HARO message and continue reading.
• When I’m finished reading the HARO and have pulled everything out that I’m really interested in, then I go back to the open windows on my desktop and focus on writing well thought out responses.
• I copy the email address into the top field
• I scan to make sure I’m following the directions they’ve laid out in their query (do I have my contact information in the right order?  Do I need to put something specific in the email subject line?  Do they want the email to come directly to them, or through the HARO emailing system?  Have I missed a deadline?)
• Then I write – I try to connect to the person who took the courage to write out this request.  Sometime they’ve done it in a hurry, you can tell.  Other times I wonder if they maybe spent weeks thinking about what they want to ask.  I respect their time.
• Most often they prefer that you get to the point very quickly.  They usually won’t link to a website outside of the email, and I only ever send pictures if they request it.
• I always have a signature line at the bottom of my email so they can check out more information about me, without being “salesy”.  I don’t ask them to check out anything, but I simply offer the content they’re looking for.  I think they generally appreciate this approach and if I impress them, they check into my profile further.

Yep! I’ve had a negative experience – We’re all human!

Only twice have I ever had what I would consider a negative interaction with someone through HARO.  The first was 3 years ago, and I simply forwarded the message to Peter Shankman.  He immediately barred them from posting on HARO in the future.  The most recent time was 2 weeks ago. I had written a clear and heart felt response to a query about a health concern.  The person wrote back and I felt like she was attacking me personally on an issue and I was hurt by it.  Instead of sitting on it for a while, I wrote back an angry message.  We’ve since agreed to never be in touch again.  But I think this can happen with any email exchanges, when something just isn’t right.

Write and Detach

Write and Detach

Write and Detach

If I were to offer one more tip it would be this.  Send out the responses you feel called to respond to, and then immediately detach

any emotional connection to them.  Many times you won’t get a response at all.  This is perfectly fine.  They may have received 100’s of responses that day.  Keep moving forward without attachment (after you hit the send button) and simply know that the ones you’re meant to contribute to will write you back.  The days when you wake up and see 3 messages saying, “We’d love to hear your story”, smile and say “thank you!” and know that your work has paid off.  It will continue to keep happening, when you stay in this mindset.

A few Do’s and Don’ts (straight from www.helpareporter.com)

Things to keep in mind about HARO, things that are good to do, things that will get you banned.

Q) What are the five rules of HARO?
A) They are here – Do try and take them seriously. If you post queries on your blog, I’ll ask you to take them down. If you don’t, I’ll ban you from HARO. Why not make it a lot easier and just don’t post them to begin with?
Q) Can I forward these queries to friends?
A) Of course you can. One of the best features of HARO is that you have the ability to send as many of these queries to as many friends as you want. The more, the merrier. It’s all about good karma. As an added bonus, though, why not simply have your friends sign up at https://www.helpareporter.com/ – Everyone wins.
Q) Can I pitch a reporter from the list with a story not connected to the list?
A) No.
Q) Can I save reporter email addresses and email them with story topics?
A) No.
Q) Can I post these questions onto blogs?
A) No. See above.
Q) Do you really “out” people on the list for pitching off-topic?
A) Try it and see. And then, visit this site as well.

(exceprt from www.helpareporter.com)

Have fun!  Free PR is a gift, and a great adventure.

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  1. Jana Szabo

    I thoroughly enjoyed your blog list post!
    This is clear, informative and to the point!
    I feel like you are talking to me in this “blog list”! Very effective writing skills, I must say.
    It’s an enjoyable read even if subject matter is not your first choice interest.
    That must mean it’s GOOD! ty

    • Loralee

      Thank you so much Jana.

  2. Leanne Chesser

    This was very educational. I’m not familiar with HARO and I learned a few things from your post :). Thanks, Loralee!