How to get free press for you or your book
Years ago, I learned about a website called Help A Reporter Out, it goes by HARO. It connects journalists seeking expertise to include in their content with sources who have that expertise.
Some of the biggest media outlets use it, the Chicago Tribune, TIME and The New York Times. It boasts 1 million sources and 75,000 journalists and bloggers.
I have used it successfully for my books as well as for my clients. I have been interviewed or had books promoted on blogs, in newspapers and magazines. This helps with book sales, establishing yourself as an expert in your field and also gives you backlinks to your website which helps with your Google ranking.
Go to https://www.helpareporter.com and sign up as a journalist or a source.
How it works:
Register: Joining adds you to the 800,000 + HARO users already using their service to connect with journalists.
Monitor Source Requests: Check your inbox three times a day (5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. ET), Monday through Friday. Look out for source requests relevant to you or your industry, expertise or personal experience.
Send the Perfect Pitch: Pitch the masked email address listed in the source request. Include answers to the journalist’s questions, any specified requirements and a bio with you or your client’s contact information. If the journalist is interested, they’ll reach out.
When you get an email, it will be broken out into indexed categories. Biotech and Healthcare, Business and Finance, Education, Energy and Green Tech, Entertainment and Media, General, High Tech, Lifestyle and Fitness, Public Policy and Government, Sports, and Travel. Make sure you read through all of them, I have seen requests in categories I wouldn’t have suspected would be a good fit.
How to make your pitch:
In the request from the journalist they will be very clear about what they are looking for and will give you direction on how to respond. Following what they say is crucial for them to even open your email.
Here is a link HARO recently provided to Learn how to build better relationships with media and get your pitches noticed. Download their free media pitching manual here: https://cisn.co/2XuOujt
What I have found as best practices:
Pay attention to posts a few months before a holiday. Many outlets are looking for products to promote for their gift guides. Often, they will want a sample to review and photograph or to use as a give away to their readers.
If there are events happening in the news and you are an expert or knowledgeable in the subject matter, or your book is about that topic, watch for requests for interviews. Journalists need timely sources for a breaking story.
Getting the right PR can make all the difference in book sales. This free resource is golden, and I highly recommend taking the time to sign up and read every email.