Today, more and more reporters locate expert sources through
two services: ProfNet and, lately,
Any reporter looking for a source can send in an inquiry—on
virtually any subject—to either or both of these services. Inquiries are
emailed to all subscribers. Anyone who
has a relevant expert can write back.
ProfNet and HARO are competitive. The key to success: craft a brief pitch that will convince the
reporter that you have one of the very best sources available. Your pitch should be to the point and briefly
cover the expert’s qualifications. Write
as much as you need to make your case, but no more. Be concise.
The reporter might write back right away. Or days may go by, and just when you’ve
decided the journalist chose someone else, you get an email in your
in-box. Or you might get no response at
These services do work.
And once you’ve established a new relationship with a journalist, you
can go back to that individual.
If you’re serious about getting publicity, you or your PR
consultant should subscribe to ProfNet.
It’s a good idea to subscribe to HARO too—a free service
that stands for “Help a Reporter Out.” As a paid service, ProfNet is better
organized. It gives you the option of limiting
inquiries to subjects that are relevant to your organization. With the more informal, funky HARO, it’s all
or nothing. But since the cost is also
nothing, there’s no reason not to get it.
The traditional way of playing the media-relations game—cultivating
reporters and editors—is still a game worth playing, but it’s not the only game
in town anymore. Cast your media net
wider with ProfNet and HARO.