After reading an update from someone I am following on Twitter I signed up on “Help A Reporter Out (HARO),” a web-based service that connects journalists with the sources they require when writing a story using a social media platform.
According to the founder of the service — entrepreneur, author and speaker Peter Shankman— HARO already claims more than 36,000 members and has a growing number of national journalists using the service on a daily basis. The list was originally launched on Facebook, but because it limits group emails at 1,200 people it was expanded to its present incarnation.
Here’s how it works:
- Each day, I will receive up to three emails from the service.
- Each e-mail will have anywhere from 15-30 queries from reporters per email.
- Every e-mail I receive will be labeled with [shankman.com] in the subject line.
- If I see a question that I feel qualified to answer, I reply to the reporter asking it.
- Voila: I am an expert (well, maybe not an expert, but perhaps I will get a quote or two).
That’s how I understand the system works, though I have not yet received an e-mail yet so I cannot speak with any real authority. However, the idea seems very clever and I am curious what the experience will be like. I will be sure to post an update as soon as there is something worth writing about.