Peter Shankman of HARO has innovated a really smart service for reporters on a story to reach out to professionals, thought leaders, and the general public. He’s brought over 21,000 members on board in under 19 weeks.
This is a great way for executives to get their name in print and gain wide-spread visibility for their personal brand and value proposition, while positioning themselves as thought leaders and niche experts in their fields.
When you sign up with HARO, you’ll receive several emails a day from Shankman listing queries from reporters who have enlisted HARO’s help. Requests for information are organized by category, followed by the specific information each reporter is looking for, what publication they’re writing for, the deadline, and contact information. The reporters write for a wide range of publications.
To give you an idea of the variety of topics, here’s the list from one of the emails I received yesterday from Shankman (the notes in parentheses and emoticon are Shankman’s):
#BUSINESS AND FINANCE
1) What do Hedge Fund Managers do for R+R?
2) Going from Geek to Sleek
3) Expatriate EAP Programs
5) Down with Summer Homework? (Skenazy – NY Sun)
6) Cats and Separation Anxieties/Medicine
6.5) Nanny Background Checks (Fox TV Phoenix)
6.7) Seeking Dollhouse/Miniature Collectors (People who collect
miniatures, not small people who collect things, I’d assume…)
7) Supplemental Health Insurance Experts
8) Mind Tricks to Beat Fat
9) Breast Cancer Treatments in South Florida
10) Holidays and Arthritis
11) Dieting Success Stories using Natural Rems
#LIFESTYLE AND ENTERTAINMENT
12) Home Repairs under $2k
13) People who registered for Non-Traditional Gifts (DEADLINE!)
14) Trends in Online Gay Dating (Arizona Republic)
15) Seeking Lifestyle Leaders Under 25
16) Bodyguards to Important People
17) Negotiating a Price for Data Centers
Keep in mind that, in order for this to work for everyone involved, it’s important for those responding to have something of value to offer the reporters. If you’re not a good fit, don’t waste the reporter’s time.
Even if you don’t participate and connect with reporters, the topics are so interesting (sometimes hilarious), it’s worth joining just to get the emails.