How to Score Press Coverage with this Free Service


Other than word-of-mouth marketing, press coverage is one of the best ways to help build your brand and for those of you who haven’t heard of the free service “Help a Reporter Out”, read on and watch the video above for best practices and winning tips.

Do this First!

1. Write a brief bio about you and how to reach you. Save it on your desktop or in Evernote.

For example

I am Madeline Johnson, a marketing and PR professional based in NYC and I help health & wellness brands grow. I love working with people and products that make us look and feel good. You can read my full bio here

Follow me on Twitter @MarketCouncil and check out my marketing blog at

I hope this response helps you with your story. If you want to connect further, the fastest way to reach me is by phone (212) 729-XXXX or send me a Tweet.


2. Go to

3. Sign up to receive HARO’s daily emails and read the rules!

4. Follow HARO on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

5. Set your phone reminder to read the emails at 5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. ET

6. Take note of these recommendations

  • Respond within 5-10 minutes to the Query, regardless of the journalists deadline.
  • Read the query TWICE and notice any special requirements before responding.
  • Your subject title should include the journalists query.
  • The email should be BRIEF and include answers to the journalist’s questions.
  • Do not send attachments.

Pro Tip

I also like to quickly Google the writer to get a sense of their voice, energy and stories they have recently written.

There are some pretty great contacts on HARO from the Wall Street Journal to CNN to the Huffington Post although I do see many of the same writers using the service daily.

Additional Rules from the editorial team at HARO

Violating any of the below rules will result in a first time warning, and upon a second violation, being permanently banned from the service. HARO works on mutual trust and support.

  • Do not spam reporters with off-topic pitches in response to their queries.
  • Do not pitch products in your source request reply unless the source request specifically asks for a product.
  • You may forward queries to others via email or social media. As a matter of fact, the HARO team encourages it!
  • You’re not allowed to harvest any reporter information provided in the HARO emails for any reason.
  • Reply to source requests with complete, relevant answers to their questions, include a short bio and your contact information. Do not reply to source requests with incomplete information or solely, “Would like to talk to you about this.”
  • If you are replying to a source request on behalf of your client, directly reply with your client’s response. Do not reply solely with “My client can speak about this.”
  • Do not include attachments in your reply to a reporter source request. Attachments are automatically stripped from the email in order to protect reporters from viruses.
  • If you have relevant supplemental information or collateral that is helpful to the story, use a service like Dropbox to send links to the reporter in your pitch.
  • “Anonymous” queries are often larger outlets that choose to anonymize their listing to alleviate spam or deter story poaching. Reply to these queries as detailed above.
  • Media professionals are encouraged to perform additional due diligence prior to pitching.
  • Be excellent to each other.
  • There are more than a half million people using HARO right now.
  • I get a placement about every month. If you get more than that, share your tips.

I would love to know how this post helps you, please respond in the comments below or send me a Tweet @marketcouncil