What is HARO & How Does It Work?

5 min read
23 Feb 2024
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In recent years, HARO (Help a Reporter Out) has been a trend used by SEO experts, marketers, business owners, etc., to attract media attention and increase exposure. One significant added benefit of HARO for SEO is that it is a way to obtain valuable backlinks from some of the world’s most popular websites.

This article will explain what you need to know about HARO, how to use it, and optimise it for PR and link-building activities.

TLDR: Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is an online platform that connects journalists and media outlets with expert sources to contribute commentary, insights, and quotes for articles. 

HARO provides valuable opportunities to gain high-quality backlinks, increase brand visibility, establish your expertise and trustworthiness, drive referral traffic from authoritative sites, and build relationships with reporters for recurring media coverage. 

For HARO optimisation, sources should thoroughly complete their profile highlighting credentials, carefully craft compelling and direct answers to queries in their niche, politely ask for backlinks where relevant, promote published features across marketing channels, create engaging website content for visitors from media links, and nurture reporter relationships for future commentary articles.

What is HARO?

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is an online platform that connects journalists and reporters with experts for articles, feature stories, and media projects.

Although helpareporter.com was one of the first, there are other platforms that reporters and media outlets use to obtain expert insights. We also recommend qwoted.com and featured.com. It is worth noting that helpareporter.com will soon become connectively.us.

These platforms make it easier for the media to find reliable sources for their content and help organisations and experts access media from high-ranking authorities, which is critical for E-E-A-T.

How does HARO work?

For journalists

Journalists will publish requests on HARO platforms. These requests will contain the details they are looking for, the outlet information, and the deadline.

Here is an example of a HARO query in the digital marketing space:

When querying, you must provide the name and URL of your media outlet, then write a brief description of the information you’re looking for and list any requests you may have.

You are also not required to link to the source.

The platform can also allow journalists to reach smaller voices that may not otherwise be able to contribute to the conversation.

For source

For expert sources, HARO is where you can view and respond to queries you can comment on. To start using HARO, register as a source on the website. You will need to provide your details. It is important these are all up to date and that they match the topics you are contributing to.

For example, don’t pitch a response to a medical query if your expertise is in digital marketing. Ensure you have links to back up your expertise, such as LinkedIn, website, business details, etc.

You can sign up for email updates on all the platforms mentioned. So, a few times a day, you will get an email with all the requests for topics that you selected. It is important to read these and get your pitch in quickly as others will do the same thing.

How can HARO be used?

Link building

Securing backlinks from major online publications is one of the most valuable aspects of HARO. Backlinks from HARO have high authority and relevance through effective filtering, which helps you generate more traffic and qualified leads. Note that most backlinks from HARO will be to your website homepage and be part of a citation.

Find relevant media queries.

Set up HARO email alerts for your niche so the most relevant queries are delivered to your inbox.

Check that your HARO source profile thoroughly details your credentials. Adjust areas of expertise, skills, achievements, etc., to attract journalists looking for knowledgeable commentators.

Create convincing answers

Your answer needs to attract the reporter’s attention quickly. Communicate your unique value proposition and ability to provide expert insights from which your audience will benefit.

Make sure you answer the query directly and meet all the required criteria. Give journalists an “easy yes” on tight deadlines.

Build brand recognition

Gaining media placement on widely read news sites through HARO can work wonders for your brand visibility if a reporter features it, especially when it’s channels like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fortune, CNBC, etc.

Adjust your brand message.

Carefully craft HARO responses to align with your brand message and image. Incorporate your mission, values, and unique positioning where possible. Ensure you are answering the question and not plugging your service or company.

Take advantage of your media mentions.

Maximise the impact of HARO media features through promotion across marketing channels:

  • Share on social media and tag the publication and any journalists involved.
  • Embed brand mentions on your website.

Amplify your strategy to extend your brand signal to broader networks.

Enhance expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

HARO appearances focused on your niche help establish EEAT (Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) for the content, topic, and thought leadership. You can be recognised as a trusted voice that reporters keep returning to.

Show off your expertise.

Ensure your HARO resource profile highlights your qualifications, credentials, published work, professional achievements, awards, and more.

Give journalists “social proof” of your industry from your profile.

Build media relationships

Deliver exceptional value to the reporters you work with through HARO and nurture these media relationships. Follow up the post with a simple note expressing gratitude for the opportunity to contribute.

Over time, you will become an expert capable of providing on-demand commentary on future articles. These partnerships lead to recurring media placements, referrals, and exclusive briefing opportunities.


Implementing HARO as part of your link-building and promotion strategy can yield tremendous benefits through increased reputation, referral traffic, and brand visibility.

The best practices above will help you maximise your media coverage potential and establish yourself as a sought-after industry commentator.

If you need help with HARO, don’t hesitate to get a free proposal and strategy recommendation at Contactora.

Written By
I've worked in digital marketing for 10+ years and founded 3 agencies. I am the CEO of Lakewood media Limited and our digital marketing agency contactora.com. I also head wphelper.io, a support and maintenance company and fuunction.io, our premium design and development agency.I currently spend my time developing strategies for digital marketing, covering everything from SEO, PPC, lead generation, email marketing, analytics and conversion optimisation. My role is to ensure our agencies are at the forefront of the industry so we can provide the best solutions and remain agile.I also manage the daily operations at our parent company, where I enjoy the business side of running a group of agencies.
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