An attendee of a presentation I gave emailed me the following:

Do you think this [HARO] is an effective means of getting known?   Do most of your customers write their own responses or do you help them with this?   I guess my question stems from a concern around capacity and the best use of scarce resources (me).

This is my basic response, with some added commentary:

I think it depends on the business and the value of the publication/website.

You have to start asking yourself some questions:

  1. Is it something your target customer reads?
  2. Will the story be relevant to your company or industry?
  3. Does the website have “authority” in your industry or target markets/verticals?
  4. What is the likelihood of a story running and if it does, will I get a link as well?

If the answer is yes to the above, it can be effective, but you also have to consider your time and resources as you mentioned. Sometimes you can edit content that you have already created to fit with specific results. Sometimes you have to create something new. If you are developing content already for editorial calendars, bylined articles, blog posts, social media, etc. often times a lot of the work is already done.

The other factor is the SEO value that can be gained by being included in stories like these…links for relevant “news” sites are very valuable.

With our clients, we tend to find, vet and create the responses for them, with their input of course as they typically have more expertise in their industry that we do.

Using the example he sent, we’d probably have a short conversation/interview with him and then write a response – assuming it was an outlet we deemed valuable. Of course it depends on the level of engagement.

Regarding this specific opportunity.


Here is what I advised him to do:

  1. Determine if he can come up with a good answer to the question in a timely fashion (do you have time). If no, drop it. If yes…⇒
  2. Look at the website (which is usually in the HARO post and if it is not a quick search of the requesting reporter should give you an idea). Is it relevant to your market and/or potential clients. If not drop it. If yes…⇒
  3. Write a response (make sure to follow any specific direction and include a link to your website) and email it to him.
    • Note that attachments do not get passed forward when you respond through HARO.
  4. If he does use your response, check to make sure you are quoted correctly and that he included a link (if he didn’t ask for one).

In summary, HARO can be an effective marketing tool, but there is also a lot of junk. So make sure you are going to reach a target audience in a quality outlet before putting forth too much effort.

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Mike Rosenberg
CEO at Veracity
Mike Rosenberg is CEO at Veracity. He brings experience and passion from two distinct, yet similar, career paths in sports business marketing and online marketing. Mike shares his marketing expertise as an Advisory Board Member and Past President of SEMpdx, a professional business organization for the digital marketing industry.