HARO Makes Big Splash in 2008 Helping Reporters Out

By jschlosser • December 31st, 2008

HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out and was founded by Peter Shankman.  PR Week Magazine has described Peter as “redefining the art of networking,” and Investor’s Business Daily has called him “crazy, but effective.” Peter is a spectacular example of what happens when you harness the power of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and make it work to your advantage.

An entrepreneur, author, speaker, and ingenious worldwide connector, Peter is recognized nationally and globally for radically new ways of thinking about social media, PR, marketing, advertising, creativity, and just about everything else, as well.

Peter is the author of Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work and Why Your Company Needs Them (Wiley and Sons 2006) and a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conferences, trade shows, and private companies, including The U.S. Department of Defense, The Public Relations Society of America, Saatchi and Saatchi, , CTIA, CTAM, CES, PMA, Mobile Marketing Asia, Advertising Week, and the Direct Marketing Association, among many others.

To punctuate his full-throttle schedule, Peter is a marketing pundit for several national and international news channels, including Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. He is frequently quoted in major media and trade publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, and USA Today.


In 2008, Peter launched Help A Reporter (www.helpareporter.com) which connects journalists with the sources they require using a social media platform. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is already over 36,000 members and growing, and has a growing stable of national journalists using the service on a daily basis.

This list was originally conceived on Facebook, but since Facebook caps group emails at 1,200 people, HARO is the next incarnation.

If you join the mailing list on Help A Reporter Out, each day, you’ll receive up to three emails, each with anywhere from 15-30 queries per email. They’ll all be labeled with [shankman.com] in the subject line, for easy filtering. If you see a query you can answer, go for it!  HelpAReporter.com really is that simple.

Peter built this list because a lot of his friends were reporters, and they called him all the time for sources. Rather than go through his contact lists each time, he figured he could push the requests out to people who actually have something to say.

These requests only come from reporters directly to him. He never take queries from that other service, he never SPAM, and he’s not going to do anything with your email other than send you these reporter requests when they arrive in my in-box.

It is a great way to share your knowledge and expertise while getting some potential PR out of it too.  The rules are reallysimple.  You send targeted, on-point responses to reporters that need to make deadline for stories or publiations they are working and writing for. Just ask yourself before you send a response: Is this response really on target? Is this response really going to help the journalist, or is this just a BS way for me to get my client in front of the reporter? If you have to think for more than three seconds, chances are, you shouldn’t send the response.

In the end, we could probably all stand to do this a bit more, huh?

That’s it. No other rules. Just questions and answers.  So what are you waiting for, go help a reporter out!

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