Get Noticed With More Publicity Using HARO

Nonfiction authors who want their book to get noticed and who are looking for more publicity are using HARO. What is HARO? It stands for Help A Reporter Out. It’s a free service to connect journalists with relevant expert sources. You may just be the source they are looking for!

I had a recent email exchange with a client and her editor discussing HARO. The editor, Candace Johnson, and I have shared several clients over the years and encourage our clients to use HARO as a way to get publicity and grow their author platform. Candace gave me permission to share some of the information from that email exchange.

Many of Candace’s clients have enjoyed great success with responding to HARO requests. Here are her best practices for HARO in a nutshell:

  • Don’t wait till the last minute to respond. Reporters get many responses, and the earlier the better.
  • Submit what they ask for in the format they request.
  • Tailor your statement to your expertise—you don’t have to have an answer for every question they ask.
  • Don’t send unrelated content; they don’t have time to spend reading a novel.
  • Use grammatically correct soundbites when you can. That makes it easy for them to spot the gems they’re looking for.
  • Include a link to your book and social media in your brief bio.

Candace also provided links to additional information to help craft a great response.

HARO requests can also be used as prompts for blogs and you can link back to the article the reporter writes. Links like that are very helpful to SEO.

Candace wrote a blog post about HARO I encourage you to read. Candace and her two daughters have been quoted in articles after responding to HARO requests. I too have responded to HARO requests and been quoted in articles. So we know it works to respond to requests – if the pitch is good.

Start your path to get noticed with more publicity using HARO. Sign up as a source!

How to Find Media Contacts

It takes time and effort to find the right media contacts. Know what a journalist writes about before reaching out to them. If you your book is about managing finances, you don’t want to reach out to the beauty editor of a women’s magazine.

There are several ways to find the right media contacts.


LinkedIn is a great place to find media contacts.

Find media companies and then look at the People section or Employees section to find media persons to connect with. As an example, here’s the People section for the Chicago Tribune.

Visit their LinkedIn profile to learn more about them and see how else you can connect with them. You may find that you have mutual connections or are in some of the same groups. You can now connect with them with a note saying something like, “I see we are both in [NAME OF GROUP] here on LinkedIn. I’d like to connect and learn more about what you do” or “We have several mutual connections and I’d like to add you to my professional network.” Better yet, ask one of those mutual connections for an introduction.

Check their profile section “Contact info”. Often, you’ll find their Twitter handle there or other way to contact them as well. Once you’ve connected, start a dialogue and develop a relationship before pitching to them.


Once you find media contacts on Twitter, create a list and add them to your Twitter list. You’ll be able to quickly find all those contacts in one place. See what they are tweeting about and see if it ties in with your story. You can use the @ symbol and tweet to them to try to get their attention. You may or may not get a response.

Internet Search

Search the internet for media contacts. This can be time consuming and tedious. Be sure to keep a spreadsheet so you don’t have to go search again once you’ve found contact information for media persons.

Search for local area newspapers, radio, TV, etc. In the Contact section of their website you’ll often find a list of editors, media contacts, journalists, etc. Make sure you’re contacting the right person for your topic.

Help A Reporter Out

Sign up for HARO (Help A Reporter Out) as a source. You’ll receive emails with opportunities to respond to requests from journalists on a variety of topics. It’s a marvelous PR opportunity.

Be quick to respond for the best chance of being chosen as a source for a reporter. Several clients have used HARO and been included in round-up posts in various online articles. These articles can be promoted on social media—and it’s a great way to connect with others who write about similar topics that were included in the round-up posts.