17 July 2008

PR Via Status Updates: The HARO Effect?

The inimitable Peter created a Facebook group earlier this year (as you know) to distribute reporters' requests for interviews. Since then, it's grown into - as Kevin puts it - "a free media source matchmaking service with more than 14,000 members."

So yes, part of this is, Peter's asked for plugs. And if you are or know anyone who is or wants to be an expert in anything, or if you do or know anyone who does ever need to quote an expert in anything, you really should go sign up.

But what's specially interesting is how he's promoting it today. He asked subscribers (free brainstorming) for social-media ways to get attention (free publicity). And the winner - unfortunately I don't have her name, because she deserves credit for a genius idea Laura Ackerman - suggested asking subscribers to put a promotional tagline on their social-network status messages on one day. So, today, you're likely to see, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., “Get sourced. Get quoted. Get famous: http://www.helpareporter.com – putting journalists and sources together, one quote at a time.”

Iit's a fantastic direct social-media PR idea. Simple concept, minimal effort, quantitative results. And so I'm super curious to hear whether it's actually successful. A jump in subscribers today will tell a lot about how strong the connection really is between the influence of networks and actual action.

So, yes, if you want to see who reporters want to talk to, go sign up for the HARO list, and massive props to the anonymous idea girl Laura. Cool stuff: let's see if it works.

Updated to add Laura's name, and to note that with the day not yet over, it's tracking to quadruple the average daily number of new subscribers to the mailing list. Seriously, I love this stuff, don't you?

4 comments:

Jillian Villafane | Make-up Artist said...

It's like HARO has it's own day :)

Doug said...

Congrats on the bump in subscribers, but allow me to be the dissenting voice here for a minute. (we've been doing this a lot lately, haven't we?)

As someone who already has a lot of Facebook friends in the HARO network, I found it sorta off-putting to see the same slightly cheesy sales pitch show up in everyone's status update on the same day. I read my friend's status updates to see what they're up to, and because it's a chance for everyone to be a little creative in the middle of the workday. Yes, those updates are often professional or self-promotional; I do it myself. But when everyone posts essentially the same ad in that space, it feels like their co-opting a creative social space to sell used Volvos or something. I wound up resenting HARO just a little bit that day.

Perhaps everyone should had devised their own sales pitch, or you all could have riffed on a theme. That would have been cool. But when everyone simply posts the exact same sales pitch--Get Famous! Find Love! Buy a Volvo!--it feels like Wal Mart has taken over Facebook, no matter how likeable and friendly a guy Peter is.

So while it's taking advantage of social media in a cool way, it's also kind of devaluing it.

But hey, that's just me. And i am pretty drunk right now.

Sarah said...

I'm changing the lyrics of "the internet is for porn" to "the internet is for arguing." Either way, though, is that bad?

My thoughts:

1. I partially agree with you. I disagree in that I do think it's cool - because it's the first time. I agree in that, repeated, it'd get old. And repeated too much, it'd invalidate the worth of status updates. But I trust communities to be self-regulating, so I like this for its novelty and effectiveness, and I'm not worried it'll become a trend.

2. I think I'm jealous of your Friday.

Laura Ackerman said...

Thanks for the props! However, it worked though because everyone took part in it... :)

Thanks again!
~Laura