spacer spacer
Home    Contact Me
« Can You Measure Social Capital?
Increasing Choice and Reducing Costs »

Marketing Tool: Help a Reporter Out

Written by: Bill Sherman on Thursday, 3 July 2008, 9:46 AM

One of my friends, Dana vanDen Heuvel, recently sent me a link to a very interesting project: Help a Reporter. This project is the brainchild of Peter Shankman.

The premise is simple, and it relies on the “Strength of Weak Ties” with a digital twist.

  1. Reporters/writers go on to “Help a Reporter” and describe the type of interview they would like to conduct.
  2. The site aggregates these requests and sends out an e-mail blast 3x/day.
  3. If you have a relevant story or quote to share, you can send it to the reporter (who may choose a follow-up interview).

Can this process be abused? Certainly, PR spammers could swarm every request with non-relevant responses that promote themselves or their company. However, if used judiciously, it can increase the quality of reporting (diverse interviewees and insights).

The tool allows reporters to expand their virtual networks (spanning structural holes) and still meet aggressive writing deadlines. In three months, it’s gone from a simple list to over 12,000 subscribers.

The tool creates an opportunity to create a relevant relationship. However, that’s all it is . . . an opportunity. It’s a social networking tool, but it’s not a social capital too. If you reply to a reporter with junk, you’ll hurt yourself more than you’ll help. You still need to invest time to create a meaningful relationship.

However, if you’ve got a great story that fits a reporter’s current need, you can be a hero. Think of it as “speed-dating” for the journalist/PR world.

« Can You Measure Social Capital?
Increasing Choice and Reducing Costs »

2 Responses to “Marketing Tool: Help a Reporter Out”

  1. Rajesh Setty Says:


    The incumbent in the space is a company called PRLeads. They solve the spammer problem by charging people who want to receive these leads – about $100 per month. So, only serious people are on the list. Please take a look:


    July 4th, 2008 11:19 am

  2. Bridgette Mongeon Says:

    I read your article on (HARO) Help A Reporter Out. I created a video on the subject and I thought I would send it. Here is a rendition or a You Tube version that you can share with your readers and even embed in your blog. Each give you code to do just that.

    GO HARO!

    Bridgette Mongeon

    July 30th, 2008 12:21 pm

Something to say?

The fields marked with * are mandatory.            


    spacer  Subscribe in a reader

    Planned Books


    Social Capital: A Multifaceted Perspective by Unknown

    Current Books


    Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (Political Economy of Ins by Elinor Ostrom

    Recent Books


    Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J. Goldstein


    Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition by Ronald Burt


    Strategy and the Fat Smoker; Doing What’s Obvious But Not Easy by David H Maister


    The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam


    Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim

    View full Library is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its contents. This is a safe-cache copy of the original web site.