HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, was founded by Peter Shankman in 2008. According to HARO’s “About HARO” section of its website, HARO ” is one of the fastest-growing social media services in North America.” HARO is a free service that collects news stories, blog posts, stories of reporters, media pitches, journalist queries, and promotions from various sources to centralize them on an user-friendly website.

HARO users receive daily email newsletters that contain queries from journalists who need information from experts to stay-at-home-moms to help them write their stories. Newspapers, television stations, bloggers, and authors have all been known to use HARO. Over 100,000 journalists now participate in HARO and the site contains over 130,000 sources.

Image Credit: “A News Reporter Looking Over Her Notes…” by Henderson Images

According to an article entitled “‘Help a Reporter Out’ Crowdsources New Sources” by Eliot Van Buskirk, Shankman “says he started the Facebook group after being frustrated by a reporter, who’d heard he knew lots of experts, turned to him for a source on sub-Saharan Nigerian farming soil. He didn’t know of anyone, so he decided to launch Help A Reporter Out as a Facebook group to make it easier for authors and reporters to track down sources…One reason his social network is profitable, according to Shankman, is that it advertises with precision to a desirable demographic.”

As I venture into my future public relations career, I will be able to gather information from an array of valuable sources since HARO’s influence has extended beyond the media. I will also be able to advertise the public relations firm or business I will be working for, for free.

HARO is an important tool and will be beneficial to my future clients. It is a free and easy way to advertise the products, services, values, and history of the businesses my future clients will represent.

Even as a student, there are several queries a day that I could respond to, which would build up my credibility and reputation.

HARO proves to be a revolutionary tool that satisfies the needs of professionals across the nation.


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