A HARO Cautionary Tale: One Reporter’s Annoyance

December 2, 2011

December 2, 2011

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how to get the most from HARO. HARO, help a reporter out, is a tool that journalists use to get sources for stories. If you didn’t think my advice was timely, check out this unusually long request from a top small business blogger looking for a source […]

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how to get the most from HARO. HARO, help a reporter out, is a tool that journalists use to get sources for stories. If you didn’t think my advice was timely, check out this unusually long request from a top small business blogger looking for a source forSmall Business Trends:

10) Summary: Trends in SaaS Web-Based Software for SMB

Name: TJ McCue Small Business Trends

Category: Business and Finance

Media Outlet: Small Business Trends

Query:
Looking ahead to 2012. How online software is affecting small
businesses (such as pricing trends, any new categories of
software, which categories are hot/which not (such as Dropbox
taking the small biz world by storm.)

SEE REQUIREMENTS info below. SUPER important.

Include whatever thoughts you have in the email itself, in quote

form, with your name, title, company. I will not have time to
go to links, open PDFs, or get on a briefing call. Keeping it
short makes it more likely I’ll respond or ask for more info.
Rambling on and on gets you deleted.

Please don’t send a release with how great your company is or
some new version you’ve released. Those are automatically
deleted…

Sorry to be particular, and not intending to be arrogant in any
way. I’m open to pitches, but you would be amazed at how
unfocused and off-target many direct messages are, even when I
make these detailed requirements known.

I’m on deadline. That phrase should mean something and explain
everything.

Here you can see exactly the types of responses TJ gets from other HARO queries and just why most of them are annoying/useless/a waste of time. Use this post as a cautionary tale and make sure to follow make your responses timely, short, and informational.

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