If you are like most small businesses, getting media attention around your brand can be hard. Exposure is a key way to increase brand awareness and yet cold emailing media outlets and newspapers is often an uphill battle. I will walk you through the exact steps I took to get featured in 10 different media outlets in 30 days for my personal company, HGC, using a free tool called HARO.
Step 1: Get Registered for HARO. HARO is a tool where media organizations, like Forbes, WSJ or the Associated Press post requests for articles they want to get insight on. You can choose categories that are of interest to you. For me, I chose to get notifications on stories around Business, Software/Technology, Management and Entrepreneurship.
Step 2: Evaluate HARO questions for a good fit. After registering, HARO will send you a list of possible articles three times a day, Monday through Friday. They will have the topics and the media outlet listed. Start by skimming through and selecting the possible questions you might go after.
After that, you can click in to them for a more thorough description, the requirements and the time deadline. First skip to the requirements and make sure you qualify. If they want only C-suite executives, or businesses making over X revenue, move on. Next look at the time parameters. It is important to try and get a response in promptly. This makes a huge difference in your chances of being selected. Also, the response will be automatically rejected after the deadline, so make sure to check it!
Step 3: Writing a HARO Submission. Note that for most of the HARO submissions the outlets get dozens if not hundreds of submissions. Because of this, they often wean it down to the top 5-10 submissions and then pull actionable insights from different authors. I have found my best format style for getting the feature is bulleted lists with easy to scan insights. Below is the general format of my successful submissions, like the one that got featured by AP (Associated Press) on How to Reduce Employee Turnover:
Name: Casey Hill
Credentials: [my background to show why my opinion matters on this topic]
Business Best Practices Blog: https://musingsofentrepreneurship.com/
Business Website: http://arkongame.com/about-us-3/
[brief intro on topic]
[Bulleted list speaking to question being asked]
- Provide a benefit that scales well: [text explanation]
- Provide mentorship and a positive social environment: [text explanation]
- Provide skill development. [text explanation]
Make sure to make it concise, use actionable insights with specific examples and be original! Cut through the noise by giving them an insight they haven’t heard about!
Step 4: Continuing the relationship after the submission. After they reach back out and let you know you will be featured (and often you just find out when they tag you on social media), you will get the email of the contact person at the media outlet. Feel free to reach out to them personally and ask if they have any other content opportunities. I have gotten additional opportunities through this approach.
I hope these tips were useful and I am looking forward to you getting some eyes on your brand! Note that it might take a handful of submissions to get featured. I got 10 media features over the last 30 days but wrote about 60 submissions. Be persistent and then if you don’t get featured re-purpose the content into an original piece for a personal blog, that is what I plan to do!