HARO is a free service you can sign up for. Every day, about three times a day, they will send you a batch of inquiries from journalists. You can respond to the ones that are relevant to you and that you are qualified to comment on. This is one way to connect directly with reporters who are looking for content. You could possibly be quoted in articles. Over time, as you talk to more reporters and get quoted more frequently, that will inspire even more reporters to reach out.

It is quite easy to register yourself on the HARO website and open the flood gates into your inbox, but not so easy to scan these emails religiously, every day, and look for questions of your expertise. You can’t afford to have a day without checking these mails as there is always a tight deadline for submissions on most inquiries. It’s also difficult to spend that kind of time every day, so we need some practical method to work with HARO. Here is my method that might have an answer.

  1. Register yourself with that email address of yours that you check every day if not every hour.
  2. Important: You have received a bunch of emails from HARO. Wait! Do not yet open them. Use your search of email App and search for the keyword that best reflects your expertise, along with the word “HARO”. I search for “HARO productivity”. Practically, I type just H and Gmail search prompts me with “HARO Productivity” and I hit enter.
  3. If the search result shows NO unread mails indicating that new mails do not have your keyword, go back and simply delete those unread HARO mails.
  4. If the search result shows an unread mail, open it and now search the same keyword inside it. See if it really has a question of your interest or if it was a false positive. Delete the false-positive mails.
  5. If you are lucky to get an inquiry from your area of expertise and you still have a few hours left before the deadline, draft and send your response. If the reporter likes it they will let you know and you know the rest.
  6. But even if you don’t hear back from the reporter, you still have got some new content created on a hot topic. So, don’t lose it. As soon as you send the mail, keep a record of the response in a short document, at a DESIGNATED place.
  7. Also, nothing is lost as you gather names of bloggers and reporters from the field of your interest (at least wherever they are not anonymous).
  8. Revise your keyword, if needed, to get better results. Eventually, you could use the names of your favorite reporter(s) also as keywords for another round of daily searches.

I know this method will get you most candidates but not ALL, but then this will give you the biggest bang for the buck! And, so you will be able to sustain this daily ritual.

Normally there are tight deadlines to respond back. So, we have to keep the draft content ready in anticipation and act fast. It should also help to set up an alarm a few hours before the deadline so that you can throw work in hand and respond to the request.