Help A Reporter Out!

Although it’s gotten its fair share of blog posts and media hits in NY Times, Marketing Sherpa and MarketingProfs over the last several days, Peter Shankman‘s Help A Reporter Out project deserves a mention here as well for those of you who don’t have your finger on the pulse of the marketing infostream.

Help A Reporter is Shankman’s mailing list for requests from reporters seeking interviewees and experts on a deadline. He runs it to generate good karma, but the list also benefits public relations pros and businesses who watch it as long as they respond when a request is relevant to them.

In short, don’t abuse this system. It’s very bad karma, and Shankman will remove you for repeated offenses. The value of Shankman’s list is in the trust that the emails connect reporters to truly relevant and available experts.

The group began as a Facebook group called “If I can help a reporter out, I will…” that I was lucky enough to stumble upon a few months ago in perusing the words and tips of marketing gurus online. It was growing at the time but has since grown beyond the scope of Facebook’s messaging restrictions. At 1200 members, Facebook no longer allows admins to send out messages to the group members, so Shankman acted fast to create the new site/list system at helpareporter.com.

Shankman sent out a Facebook message to the group members celebrating the new site:

It means our little experiment here in social media and PR is working!

This makes me happy. 🙂

But, we’re getting bigger! And we’ve outgrown our Playpen!

If you are looking to get your business mentioned in the media or work in public relations or as a publicist, you should get on this mailing list. Remember what it’s all about and keep winning good karma points by responding when you can assist but not pushing yourself into a story where you don’t belong.

As long as we keep this thing going, this list could be the start of a nice mutual network for public relations practitioners and reporters. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get along?

As Shankman says:

It’s a simple idea, and one that can really help not only reporters, but all of us, as well! The bigger it gets, the better chance we have to make sure that reporters get the sources they need. The more they get the sources they need, the more likely they are to tell other journalists, which in the end, gives you more chances to get yourself, your clients, or your company some good press!

Go to helpareporter.com to sign up for the list. More on the list from Shankman himself:

The site’s been built to be as simple as this one: Simply enter your name/company/email, and you’ll get reporter requests sent to you via email, usually immediately after a reporter sends them to me.

It’s simple, it’s STILL FREE, and it’s no SPAM. It’s a double-opt-in list, with an automatic opt-out if you ever decide to leave us. Couldn’t be simpler, and yes, I’m still doing this because it’s good Karma.

So go to http://www.helpareporter.com and sign up.

One Pingback/Trackback

  • Hi there Jacob, I noticed you’ve signed up to the Twitter feed for Getting Ink Requests – thanks and welcome!

    I think you make a really crucial point about services like Getting Ink Requests and Help a Reporter (we do the same sort of thing as Peter, but in Europe) – it only works if people respond where they can help AS WELL as when it benefits their client.

    Often, I stress to people that while they may not see an immediate return for spending time talking to a reporter about how they bought their house, or found their husband – the return comes months down the line when a reporter is looking to cover a specific industry and remembers “hey, that person really helped me out a while ago” and is that much more inclined to read/respond to the pitch.

    This is a new blog for me, I look forward to following you in future.

    Thanks

    Sally

  • Hi there Jacob, I noticed you’ve signed up to the Twitter feed for Getting Ink Requests – thanks and welcome!

    I think you make a really crucial point about services like Getting Ink Requests and Help a Reporter (we do the same sort of thing as Peter, but in Europe) – it only works if people respond where they can help AS WELL as when it benefits their client.

    Often, I stress to people that while they may not see an immediate return for spending time talking to a reporter about how they bought their house, or found their husband – the return comes months down the line when a reporter is looking to cover a specific industry and remembers “hey, that person really helped me out a while ago” and is that much more inclined to read/respond to the pitch.

    This is a new blog for me, I look forward to following you in future.

    Thanks

    Sally

  • Thanks for pointing this out. I had vaguely heard about Help a Reporter Out, but never in this kind of detail. Delicious’d it.

    Anita

  • Thanks for pointing this out. I had vaguely heard about Help a Reporter Out, but never in this kind of detail. Delicious’d it.

    Anita

  • I LOVE HARO!
    I read your article on (HARO) Help A Reporter Out. I created a video on the subject and I thought I would send it. Here is a blip.tv rendition http://www.creativeendeavors.blip.tv/#1123448 or a You Tube version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23biQbZjWBk that you can share with your readers and even embed in your blog. Each give you code to do just that.

    GO HARO!

    Bridgette Mongeon

  • I LOVE HARO!
    I read your article on (HARO) Help A Reporter Out. I created a video on the subject and I thought I would send it. Here is a blip.tv rendition http://www.creativeendeavors.blip.tv/#1123448 or a You Tube version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23biQbZjWBk that you can share with your readers and even embed in your blog. Each give you code to do just that.

    GO HARO!

    Bridgette Mongeon

  • Pingback: When You Win Over A Community [HARO Video, Help A Reporter Out] | wannabeMogul.com()