Tandem’s Guide to HARO & Getting Your Answers Featured

HARO, which stands for Help A Reporter Out, is an amazing tool that connects journalists with industry experts. Journalists get the answers they need, and industry experts get some exposure for themselves and/or their businesses. It’s a win-win. Though easy to use, this tool can be difficult to master – which is why we have created our little guide to HARO from the perspective of an SEO firm. But first:

How it Works

Sign up for HARO for free as a source. You can purchase a paid account, but if you are new to the service, we recommend signing up for free and then deciding if you want to pay for a subscription.

Success on HARO depends on your level of investment. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of daily emails you will receive. Stick to the free version to see if you can maintain that level of interest.

Tandem Interactive’s Guide to HARO – 7 Tips for Success

Tandem has created this guide based on best practice and methods that receive the highest level of success. These are the 7 HARO tips we send our clients and what we use every day. These tips are not in order of importance, but rather in order of process.

[1] Respond FAST

Be sure to reply to the HARO emails within the first 30 minutes of receiving them. After that, the odds of getting a hit dramatically decrease. This is the most important tip in this guide to HARO!

Each question has a listed deadline, but reporters are looking for the best answers as soon as possible. As soon as they have the answers they need, they will likely focus on writing the story and not return to the responses. Respond to HARO queries in a quick and timely manner if you want to be considered as a resource.

[2] Who Do You Think You Are?

Add your title and/or experience in the field to illustrate how much of an authority you are on the subject.

This is important for two reasons:

  1. Journalists want to know that the person they are quoting has experience and wisdom on the subject. You can’t just go around offering opinions, you need to back it up with real world wisdom.
  2. You want them to quote you with your name, title, and company. This helps you! These are called citations and Google crawls them. Eventually, with enough citations, your name will start popping up all over Google results. It’s that kind of exposure that a public relations firm loves!

You should include a short bio in the first part of your HARO response. Don’t make it longer than two sentences, and ideally, you should keep it to one sentence.

[3] Use ALL Your Experience & Knowledge to Get More Answers

Don’t just focus on industry-specific questions, as some other questions might still relate to you. Are you a female business owner? Does your business have direct experience dealing with that subject but from the “other side” of the perspective being asked about?

HARO questions are your opportunity to offer real perspective and insight!

[4] Commit to Real Responses

Ensure your response is insightful, polarizing, personal, or unique. Reporters use quotes to provide opinions that they cannot, so give them opinions.

Yes, you can give opinions, and it’s almost expected. Opinions from an expert weigh more than opinions from non-experts.

[5] Make it Easy

Ensure that the quote is as easy as possible for the reporter to “copy/paste”.

This is the simplest tip on this guide to HARO, and it’s easy to get right. The easier you make it for the reporter to use your quote, the more chance they will. What do we mean easier?

  • Avoid spelling mistakes.
  • Make your quote short and snappy. Short sentences with strong verbs!
  • Stay focused on the point you want to make. Split up answers with multiple perspectives.

This will take practice.

[6] Throw in Some Search Engine Keywords

It would be helpful for citations and ranking if the reporter could slide in an SEO related keyword specific for your industry.

Think of a keyword that your customers use to find you or your business; something they would type into Google. If you can easily slip that keyword into your answer, it will help you rank for that word.

[7] Edit, Edit, Edit Again

Always read over your answer. A well edited answer shows competence.

Take a few minutes to read over your answer when it’s done.