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Author: Lavie Margolin, Career Coach

A good way to find success in your career is to be seen as an expert in your field. If you were a hiring manager with two equally qualified accounting candidates for your job opening, would you hire the one who had been quoted on CNN for their Sarbanes-Oxley knowledge or the one who had not? Wouldn’t it be great to be quoted in the newspaper or a magazine for our expertise and add that accomplishment to our resumes? It would be nice but who can afford to hire a PR agency or pitch every editor to do a story on us? By using the HARO list (help a reporter out), you can a name for yourself even if you have no contacts in the media industry.

In July 2010 I published my first book, Lion Cub Job Search: Practical Job Search Advice for Practical Job Seekers. I wanted to get the word out through the media but did not know how. What did I do? I decided to survey my network, of course! Within a few days, I got the same response from six or seven people, use HARO. HARO features a list of reporters in need of experts for stories, such as social workers who have worked with the elderly, accountants who have worked in government institutions and pet groomers. If you have a knowledge or expertise in ANYTHING, there is likely to be a request that is a fit for you.

Directly through HARO, I received quote attribution in over 30 well known media outlets including AOL Jobs, AMNewYork, CNN, Monster and The Wall Street Journal. My response rate is 15-20%. About one out every six postings for which I respond, I receive publicity for myself, my book and my career in a huge media resource seen by hundreds of thousands of people. Some of you may have already tried HARO but got a limited response. I wanted to share with you what worked for me:

1)  Timeliness: Reporters often work on tight deadlines. Many are emailing the list for help as they could not find a source on their own, the deadline is getting tight and they need somebody. If you can, open the HARO email as soon as you receive it and start formulating a response.

2) Responding to the right requests: Read carefully what each reporter is looking for. If you are not a fit, spend your time responding to those listings for which you are a match.

3) Give content: When responding to the question, give lots of content. I have never spoken to most of the reporters who have put my content in their article. They take the information directly from what I emailed them. Almost always, there is something on my blog related to their request.

4) Establish expertise: Why should the reporter use you? Why are you an expert in the field? Explain this in the first paragraph whenever you respond.

5) Be available: Check your email and phone messages regularly. A reporter might want to confirm some additional facts or request a picture of you for the story.

6) Know your audience: What media outlet is making the request? Think of what might be specifically appealing to their audience.

Most reporters will not send you the story. They are on to the next request. Set up a google alert with your name that will let you know when your name appears on the web.  Ideally, you will establish relationships with reporters that can be utilized at a later time. If they determine your content is delivered in a timely manner and of high quality, they are likely to contact you for the next story before posting it to HARO. Send the reporter a thank you note once the story is published. Invite the reporter to connect with you on Linkedin. Notice any similarities to the job search process?

About the Author: Lavie Margolin is a New York-based Career Coach and the author of Lion Cub Job Search: Practical Job Search Assistance for Practical Job Seekers. To learn more, go to Lavie’s website, Lion Cub Job Search:www.Lioncubjobsearch.com