We want to be the best source we can be when we use HARO, a free media and publicity tool. I had real fun “interviewing” Brad Hines, a Digital Marketing & Social Media Strategist to get some great tips. Brad had “interviewed” and quoted me in a story that he wrote: 8 Marketers Give Their best Advice and I wanted to find out what a writer/reporter/blogger had to say about getting responses to their requests. I respond to writer/reporter/blogger requests on a daily basis and I want to be the best I can be!
Read on for the inside scoop from Brad:
Trudy: What is your best advice for making pitches?
Brad: When I receive pitches, I like to see a few things:
- That they have given a quality, original answer that is grammatically correct and spell- checked.
- They have gone ahead and answered the parameters of my enquiry directly rather than ask to set up an Interview (although sometimes if it’s a publicist asking to set up an interview with a notable expert I will indeed ask for a meeting).
- I like when they have the details I asked for neatly marked in the respective order I marked, for example their full name, title, and how to be sourced if I use them.
Trudy: How often do you use HARO as a writer?
Brad: I’ve consistently put out about two enquiries a week.
Trudy: How many pitches do you typically get per request?
Brad: I’d say 25 is the average.
Trudy: Do you have anything else to share about making pitches?
Brad: I have a policy to answer back every single person who pitches me no matter what. It is both the right thing to do, and a good way to develop contacts. [my comments: I love this one because very few writers/reporters do this]. I have answered hundreds of queries on HARO myself. To the tune of about 20 received press appearances last year and when I follow the above guidelines, my pitches are more likely to be accepted too. I also believe that answering the query promptly helps.
Trudy: How do you “research” your potential contributors? Do you read the mini bio provided?
Trudy: Do you click on website links (if provided)?
Brad: Yes. Especially to get a feel for who they are.
Trudy: Do you click on a linkedin profile?
Brad: Sometimes but not usually. Although I do thank all of them for their contribution, and ask them if they’d like to connect on social media. The majority choose Linkedin given the business aspect of the connection.
Trudy: Do you click on video link if provided?
Brad: Yes. Especially if it is relevant to their pitch.
Trudy: Do you google them?
Trudy: Do you check them out on Facebook or twitter?
Brad: Less so, again, this mostly happens after the fact if they add me after I had told them they could do so. It’s less democratic of an approach, but you can check things like facebook and twitter to get a feel for their following and capability of sharing the story itself. I like to think most people receiving pitches go by the merit of the answer, but this is realistically not always going to be the case.
Trudy: Does the fact that someone is a published author give them more credibility?
Brad: Yes, although more importantly, I never rule anyone out simply because they were not published previously.
Trudy: Any final feedback?
Brad: With either answering pitches on HARO, or putting out enquires and dealing with pitches back, my best advice for either side of the fence is to treat everyone with a human approach. Give thorough well thought responses in both direction, be appreciative, and strive for understanding either when your pitch is rejected, or when people don’t pitch to you quite what you were looking for.
PS. If you want to find out more about Brad here is his information
Digital Marketing & Social Media Strategist
BradfordHines.com & YumDomains.com
Freelance Writer | HungryKids.org Founder