Getting Wedding-Related Media LeadsTuesday, December 02, 2008
One of the ways to gain publicity for your company is to be quoted by or contribute content to the media. Getting connected with the appropriate people can be time consuming and pitching content and ideas is an artform all its own, which are both topics we'll be covering at a later time.
Today however, I want to let you know about HARO, a service that was started by Peter Shankman as a means to connect journalists looking for specific stories with experts who could contribute to them.
HARO, which stands for 'Help a Reporter Out', is a free service that you can sign up for and then receive three emails a day with queries from various media outlets. Sometimes they will include queries related to weddings, in which case you can respond to the journalist directly with your insight on the matter. Other times, the queries will have nothing to do with your field of expertise, in which case you can hit the delete button.
I have been a member of HARO since it first started in March earlier this year and I can attest that it works. Not all of my media exposure has been a result of it, but some has. It has grown to over 40,000 members who receive the queries and many big media outlets now use it to find sources, including CNN, the Associated Press, and others.
Here is the catch - if you cannot contribute to the topic, do NOT pitch yourself! Peter will publicly out people who pitch off topic or who harvest the journalists' emails and use them for any other purpose or for future non-HARO related pitches. You are also not allowed to post the queries on a blog or anywhere else on the Internet. Basically, don't be stupid.
On Fridays, Peter also includes gift bag requests, which basically allow you to request items for promo giveaways. Since many of the members are publicists who represent products, this is an easy way for them to get their clients' names in front of people. This is a great way to for those of you who also plan corporate events to get some product placements for swag bags, but again, make sure your requests are legitimate.
You can sign up for HARO here and you can follow Peter Shankman on Twitter here.