Monday, August 25, 2008

Increase Your Karma – Help a Reporter Out!

Have you helped a reporter out today?

Help a Reporter Out, HARO for short, is a free service created by Geek Factory CEO and “Hot BloggerPeter Shankman.

Founded on the premise “everyone is an expert at something,” HARO allows reporters to send queries to an e-mail list of over 2,000 (and growing) potential sources, for free. E-mails are sent three times daily to HARO members. The e-mails usually begin with a witty intro by Peter and then queries from reporters, divided into easy to skim sections: Urgent, Business and Finance, Health/Fitness, General, Lifestyle and Entertainment, Technology and Travel.

Peter has just one rule for sources that join the list: stick to the query and don’t send reporters off-topic pitches. It’s a fairly easy rule to follow, but Peter has had to pull some from the list for breaking it.

HARO has gathered such a strong following of both reporters and sources that it’s beginning to make waves for its for-profit rival, Profnet. Evidence of this rivalry appeared in Peter’s introduction to the July 28 evening HARO e-mail, “Tonight's HARO is dedicated to an unnamed exec in PR Newswire's San Jose office, who emailed all of last week's HARO reporters and asked them to switch to Profnet to send out their queries. Well... I guess that's one way of doing it. I just kinda assumed that every reporter on HARO knew about Profnet, and chose to post their queries either on HARO alone, or both Profnet and HARO. I always thought it was about getting the reporter their leads in the best way possible, but heck, I'm up for the Pepsi Challenge! That would be fun! Which one provides better sources... I smell a Pay-Per-View event!!”

Check it out.

Reporters can sign up here. Sources can sign up here.

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