Have You Heard Of HARO?

apps-g1614e08be_1920If you have heard of HARO, you might need help understanding what it is and how it can benefit your marketing efforts. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a tool that helps law firms and all types of businesses build authority and increase community outreach. It allows lawyers to share opinions and thoughts on current legal topics. Answering reporters and journalists requests through HARO can be a simple but significant addition to your marketing plan. HARO is a great tool to express your legal opinions within your practice area. Read on to learn more about HARO and how it can positively impact your firm’s marketing campaign.

What Exactly is HARO?
HARO is an acronym for Help a Reporter Out. It’s a free service used by journalists who need expert quotes from industry leaders to add to their writing. A practicing attorney can sign up as a source and provide professional quotes or tips when a query is applicable. There are various membership levels, but the free service can be beneficial.

After an attorney signs up as a source for HARO, they receive a minimum of two daily emails looking for answers to numerous questions. The emails need to be monitored for relevant topics. To benefit from HARO, you must be patient and take the time to screen the emails for applicable questions since there is no guarantee that your daily query will ask legal questions.

When a relevant question is asked, you must then prepare an answer. The responder is not allowed to use their answers on social media or other personal or professional sites as the answers become the journalist’s property. Responses must completely answer the question, should be grammatically correct, should be submitted before the deadline, and should not include attachments. Links, however, can be sent with responses.

Benefits of HARO
Submitting answers to HARO often generates new client leads. When your responses are used, your credibility and authority will grow. The journalist will backlink to your law firm’s website, and you will receive credit for your expert quote. Backlinks can help to increase your audience and search engine optimization (SEO). Responding to HARO questions can help your firm become more recognizable in the legal community.

Reading the HARO requests may help improve your marketing strategies as you will see what questions and topics are trending. When you know the topics on the minds of potential clients, you can capitalize on them and use those topics as fodder for blogs, webinars, podcasts, and articles.

HARO Tips for Lawyers
HARO journalists receive many responses, so your answers must stand out.

Respond Quickly
It is crucial to respond promptly since competitors will also be responding. HARO questions are emailed several times a day. Try to respond within a half hour from when the email was received. The likelihood of your pitch being used after that time decreases significantly.

Setting time aside each day to scroll through the HARO questions and find appropriate legal questions is wise. 15 to 20 minutes should do. To save time, use the search function to look for keywords like “attorney,” “law,” or “legal.” You can even have a virtual assistant or an office staff member help you with this.

Keep responses short and to the point. Reporters never have time to weed through lengthy replies. They want quick, direct answers. Be sure to completely answer the question and include a memorable quote at the beginning of your response, so it is the first thing the reporter reads. Your answer should be specific to the query, making you an authoritative source. Don’t ask the reporter to contact you or request an interview.

Provide a Media Kit
Responding to HARO queries helps to build your credibility. Creating a media kit will assist you in this endeavor. Never underestimate the significance of media kits, as they can effectively promote your law firm. Your media kit can be a downloadable PDF or a clickable link. List your name, education, experiences, expertise, specialties, and awards. Include a professional photo. If a journalist uses your HARO response, they may include your photo. Always request a citation or backlink to your law firm’s website to help drive new traffic to your website.

Use a Pitch Template
As stated above, your response must be quick. Using a template or outline is efficient. The template could include features needed for each response, including a greeting, biographical information, contact information, and media kit information. Your actual response can be completed in the middle of your template. Use headers and bulleted lists for ease of reading.

Should I Hire an SEO Agency to Help With HARO?
Many legal SEO agencies can develop a strong backlink strategy for you, however, you can manage HARO on your own. HARO is a unique and beneficial marketing tool. It will help build your brand, increase website traffic, potentially generate leads, and inform you of legal topics.

Digital Marketing Next Steps
HARO is a free tool that anyone can use. However, it is especially helpful for experts in different industries, including law. The more questions you respond to, the wider reach your law firm’s branding will have. Answering questions also helps build your reputation as an expert. Learn more by signing up for HARO today.

Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the Founder of Law Quill, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small and solo law firms. Annette wrote the bestselling book Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide For Law Firms, and hosts the podcast Legal Marketing Lounge. She is a sought-after keynote and CLE speaker throughout the United States and Canada. Annette used to do theatre and professional comedy, which is not so different from the legal field if we are all being honest. Annette can be found on LinkedIn or at at annette@lawquill.com.


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