Media coverage is an excellent way to get your name in front of a large number of potential clients without investing in expensive advertising. Fortunately, there’s a great resource for connecting you to journalists who are looking for someone with your knowledge.
The service I’m referring to is called simply Help A Reporter Out, or HARO for short. I’ve been on their mailing list for several years, receiving three emails per day filled with media opportunities, and have been featured in various articles as well as the FabJob Guide to Become a Virtual Assistant as a result of responding to queries that matched my expertise. Bill & Steve Harrison’s Reporter Connection is another service I’ve found useful.
After realizing that my clients could also benefit from these services, since I’m already scanning the media requests, I decided to start forwarding those that would be a good fit. Some have chosen to sign up for their own subscriptions, but others have been happy to take advantage of opportunities they would otherwise have missed. Many of those leads have paid off, and the following clients have given me permission to share their success stories with you.
Hazel Thornton of Organized for Life was interviewed for an article about the emotional impact of clutter and of de-cluttering, which is scheduled to appear in Experience Life Magazine, a national health/lifestyle publication, in April. Hazel’s recommendation:
Don’t mess around deciding whether or not to reply. Some of the deadlines for responding to HARO are very tight. Even with a long deadline, something you write or say to the reporter early in the game could influence the entire article.
Deb Lee of D. Allison Lee and SOHO Tech Training has been featured a number of times, most recently in What in Creation? Great ideas for handling your child’s treasure trove of artwork on The RetailMeNot Insider. Deb offers the following tips for getting selected:
- Answer promptly!
- … and, take advantage replying to Urgent HARO’s. The reporter is usually still looking for content when the Urgent request is made and are likely to use (quality) content you submit.
- Reply in the way that is requested. If the reporter asks you to use a specific subject line (so they’ll see the e-mail) or to submit the info in a particular way (so it can be read in a way that works for them), do it. If they can’t find the info they need because you didn’t put it in the requested format, you’re likely to not get chosen as a source.
Julie Stobbe of Mind over Clutter was interviewed for Cover to Cover Magazine (go to page 10 to listen). She has also had three radio spots, had two tips included in blog posts, and two tips published in books. Her advice:
Send in the information they ask for, and wait and see.
Clare Kumar, Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, was quoted in Put the FUN in Functional in Your Home Office on She’s Self-Employed. Clare received this excellent advice from the very talented producer and media trainer, Shawne Duperon:
1. Answer the question up front. Preferably in 3-5 bullet points. Offer to provide more if they need it.
2. Include details to establish your credibility and media experience.
3. Provide contact information they can reach you at THAT day.
Cindy Kamm of Details etc. has been selected as a monthly contributor to The New MADE Revolution Magazine. Her debut article, Look Great & Organized, appeared on page 148 of this month’s issue. Cindy says:
Your writing style should match your personality. I think one of the reasons why blogs are so popular these days is we get to know the person behind the blog and that makes the information that much more interesting and true to heart.
Amber Kostelny-Cussen of Amber’s Organizing LLC was showcased in the Chicago Tribune, which brought her three new clients within one day of publication, and five more in the following months! Amber’s advice is to:
respond fast and speak to exactly what they are looking for… be specific.
Have you been holding back from responding to a media request because you didn’t think you had a chance? Take a lesson from Hazel, Deb, Julie, Clare Cindy, and Amber. If they can do it, so can you!
If you’ve received media exposure, please feel free to share your own success stories and tips in the Comments section.
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