Want free publicity for your small business? Help a Reporter Out!

Want free publicity for your small business? Help a Reporter Out!

A few months ago, I joined an online service called Help a Reporter Out (HARO).  Help a Reporter Out was created to link reporters across the US with experts in a wide variety of fields. As a small business owner, you can join the HARO network for free and receive daily e-mail alerts that include referrals from reporters looking for sources to complete their news articles (e.g. expert quotes, opinions, and feedback).

So what’s the big deal? HARO gives you the opportunity to potentially get some national media attention!

Help a Reporter Out’s innovative crowdsourcing model got a lot of press when it first launched, but I was a tad reluctant to join when I learned about it. I became more convinced of HARO’s value after reading this article from Wired regarding feedback they received from HARO users.

Let me point out a one tip to those of you who wish to get started with HARO. When I initially registered, I decided to be an expert on everything.  After subscribing to almost every category related to business, industry and the economy; I became overwhelmed with the number of e-mail notifications and ended up wasting too much time sifting through all the alerts for the service to be useful. After some ego adjustment :), I was able to narrow my subscriptions and now only receive notifications for what is relevant to our work here at MyEntre.Net. I have found this strategy to be much more effective.

You can also use Twitter to follow @HelpAReporter and fan the HARO Facebook page. This may be a better option for those who don’t want to overfill their inboxes with HARO alerts.

Have you heard of and/or used Help a Reporter Out? If you decide to register, please share your experiences with us and let us know if it has been useful to you!

Rob Williams is a Business Analyst for the University of Northern Iowa

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