HARO media opportunities tend to come and go pretty quickly, thanks to the nature of the game. Keep your eye on the ball and submit your pitch quickly if you want to be in with a chance of being chosen.
Within 12 hours of the opportunity being posted is a good ballpark figure. Just don’t bother submitting when the deadline has passed — it’ll be a waste of your time.
Give Answers Related to Your Business and Experience
You’re more likely to have your pitch chosen if you have demonstrable experience related to the topics being queried.
Not only that: If a question is related to things you actually know about, you can give a knowledgeable (and more often unique) answer!
Only submit pitches for HARO queries that you know you can answer, and can back yourself up with credentials for.
And, please, don’t Google the answers if you don’t know! Plagiarism is not only wrong but you’ll also more than likely get caught out by the journalist.
Use Your Personal Experience and Insight
Using your own personal experience and insight means that your pitch will likely be unique. This will help your pitch get noticed.
Very often the topic being written about isn’t necessarily unique, but your answers can be.
While you should keep your answer concise and to the point, it helps to give context around the answer. Ask yourself the “why”s and include them in your answer.
Often, the context around an answer is what will give your pitch the edge over someone else’s.
Keep It Straightforward, Concise, with No Fluff
Which leads us to our next point! Get straight to the point and avoid padding your sentences.
If the journalist doesn’t have to wade through your fluff to get the answers they need, your pitch will likely be more successful.
Not only is this going to mean that the journalist can read your pitch faster, it also means that you’re more likely to be quoted. The word count in pieces is often quite limited, so do yourself a favor and keep it simple!
Read and Follow Instructions
Nothing is more irritating than receiving a pitch that hasn’t followed specified instructions, or missed a point or two.
The information and instructions are there for you — be sure to read them carefully and follow them to the T!
Check Queries Carefully
Not every query is going to be a good fit for you, so read through them carefully before you decide to pitch.
Consider whether or not the journalist’s audience is actually one that will benefit you.
Don’t Be Too Salesy
Remember that this is a pitch, meaning that you’re contributing information that only you have.
While there is an element of being a sales person involved, if you’re too focused on trying to sell yourself or your blog you’ll just put the journalist off.
Bite-sized quotes are best.
Journalists don’t usually have an excess of word count, so every word matters! Try to summarize and make yourself more quotable to increase your chances of winning the pitch.
Proofread and Double Check
Always proofread and double check your work! We all know there’s nothing worse than sending off an email and then realizing you’ve got a big fat typo in the first sentence.
Pay attention to your formatting, too — well-formatted pitches are easier to read and digest.
If nothing else, a well-crafted and thoroughly proofread pitch will make you seem more professional. Not the best at spelling and grammar? There are heaps of free (and paid) tools available online.
Break up Long Chunks of Text
Remember, you want your text to be easily scannable for the key information. Don’t include massive paragraphs of text that will put your reader off before they get started.
Make Sure to Follow Up and Say Thank You
Whether or not you’re published, a polite follow up and thank you is always appreciated!
Your pitch may not have been chosen this time, but if the journalist remembers that you were pleasant to deal with, they may choose you next time.