I had heard about Peter Shankman’s service, HARO – Help A Reporter Out, but until yesterday hadn’t gotten around to trying it. I had meant to check it out, but it just never got to the top of my to-do list. Probably it’s because my focus has been in social media instead of mainstream, traditional media.
Apparently 37,000 other PR sources haven’t been so slow in adopting.
My first impression has been quite positive. HARO is a really neat service, with a site for sources to sign up to receive thrice-daily emails of media requests, and a separate page for journalists to enter their source requests. Peter goes through the journalist requests and categorizes them (actually, the journalists do the categorization themselves) and sends the email digests to the HARO, community which operates on five simple rules. And it’s free to both sources and journalists.
You also can get Urgent HARO requests by following Peter on Twitter.
Craigslist has contributed significantly to the mainstream media meltdown, particularly in newspapers, by offering a free alternative to what formerly had been a cash-cow monopoly, the local classified ad.
I don’t know whether Peter aims to do the same to ProfNet, an established service of PR Newswire that is free to journalists but not to PR sources.
What do you think? Have you used HARO, either as a source or as a journalist? Will HARO make a significant dent in ProfNet’s market share?