Here’s how PR pros can best use HARO or ProfNet

You notice a reporter’s query on these popular source-seeking sites. You’ve got something to say. Wait! Before you reply, read this.

The other day, looking for contributions for a list story I was drafting, I posted a query on one of the platforms that connects journalists with sources.

The responses provided me with an observation that I will humbly share with our learned and highly literate readership.

Some professionals, it appears, do not attentively read queries from reporters on sites such as Help a Reporter Out or PR Newswire’s ProfNet. Failure to do so is sure to doom your pitch.

If this were my problem alone, I would assume that I am not writing clearly. The trouble is, I have heard other reporters make similar observations.

I write this not in the spirit of peevishness, but as, I hope, a public service. All have sinned, and I am as guilty as the next person of hastily replying to an email, only to reread it and realize I missed the point. This means I must write a second response, and then apologize on top of it, wasting both my time and that of my recipient.

Look before you leap

This said, take extra care when leaping in with a reply to a query on platforms such as HARO or ProfNet. The same goes for when a journalist puts out feelers seeking sources on Twitter.

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