What is HARO – And Why The Heck Did They Just Call Me?

what is haro
Have you heard of HARO? Well, it stands for Help a Reporter Out and it’s a site where you can sign up for emails that can lead to PR opportunities for you and your blog.

How does it work?
Basically, once you join their email list, you’ll get 3 emails a day with all sorts (30-50 on average) of potential media opportunities. The queries are categorized for easy skimming. It’s a service that reporters use when they need sources, quotes and snippets for articles, print or news segments. They work with some pretty major news agencies suck as FOX, ABC and the Associated Press.

A quick scan of the email and you can find a pertinent query and respond to it within a few minutes. Busy that day? Just delete the email and move on – they’ll send 3 more tomorrow!

How does this benefit me?
If your response is used, you may find yourself (and a link to your site) in an online magazine or news story. This could be wonderful for your site! Imaging being mentioned in an article on ABC.com!

An added benefit is that the backlink will likely boost your SEO and the link can provide significant traffic depending on the site that it lands on.

What I like about HARO.
It’s a quick, easy way to possibly get yourself (and your blog) some media coverage. This is a great tool in the “be everywhere” philosophy that I love so much.

What is with the phone call?
I have no idea. I have been signed up for the emails for about 6 months now and have never received any communication other than the basic emails.

Now, I was bothered by this phone call for many reasons. Some of them are my own ridiculousness, but still…

First, it always bugs me when primarily online companies contact me (an online only business) via phone before attempting via email.
Here’s the number that was used to call me: 1-571-485-4000 and it was out of Virginia. I was expecting a call from JCPenny customer service and thought it might have been them, so I answered. Now you know the number, in case you don’t want to talk about your sites on the phone. Feel free to call them and ask questions, as I feel that unsolicited phone calls should go both ways. :)

Second, and this is really odd – upon looking into my account, neither my correct phone number or the website that he mentioned on the phone were listed in my account. Strange to think of how they got that information and why the heck they would spend resources seeking out my info.

Third, I never even figured out why he called. The service seems cut-and-dry. I get a list of queries and respond when they fit into my niche. He wanted to set up a 20 minute phone call the next day to discuss things. I can’t figure out what they heck there is to discuss. I explained that I was very busy, as this is the holiday season and the busiest time of the year in my niche. So we agreed that next year might be a better time. I won’t be answering that call.

If anyone with HARO would care to comment (please don’t call me!!), please do so below or email me (I’m sure you’ll find it) explaining what was with that random phone call.


  1. says

    I get weirded out when online companies call before emailing also. So don’t feel bad. :)

    Googling the number brings up a lot of mentions of PR Web which is owned by Vocus which also owns HARO. Any dealings with them lately?

    • Zack Reyes says

      Haha, thanks!
      And no dealings with them that I can recall, but apparently I gave my number to the wrong people somewhere along the road! :/

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