HARO, which stands for Help A Reporter Out, is a platform that connects journalists and bloggers with relevant expert sources. Journalists submit queries describing the information they need, and experts (or PR professionals representing them) respond with pitches. If a journalist is interested in a pitch, they might reach out for more details or quotes to include in their article.

Here are 15 top tips to craft an exceptional HARO Pitch:

1. Understand the Query Thoroughly

The first step in crafting a powerful pitch is the comprehension of the journalist’s needs. It’s easy to hastily skim through a request and think you’re the right fit. But doing so can often lead to misaligned responses. Ensure you understand every nuance of the request. Set aside the initial urge to reply and take a moment to absorb what’s being asked. Reflect on whether your expertise truly aligns. Remember, a well-aimed response is far better than multiple off-target pitches.

2. Strike a Balance Between Speed and Substance

HARO’s ecosystem is, by nature, incredibly fast-paced. Journalists often operate under tight deadlines, which means early responses can have an advantage. However, speed should never overshadow substance. While it’s important to reply quickly, ensuring that your response is thorough, relevant, and insightful is paramount. A well-constructed reply, even if a tad late, will always have more weight than a rushed, incomplete one.

3. Craft an Irresistible Subject Line

In the vast sea of HARO responses, the subject line is your beacon. Think of it as the headline of a news article; it needs to capture attention and generate interest. Investing time here can mean the difference between a click and a pass. While brevity is key, ensure your subject line resonates with the query’s essence, offering a glimpse of what you bring to the table.

4. Present Yourself with Clarity and Confidence

Before diving into your insights or expertise, it’s imperative to set the stage. Introduce yourself succinctly yet effectively. Highlight key achievements, credentials, or experiences that make you the perfect fit for the query. This not only offers context but builds credibility. Consider this your elevator pitch – a snapshot of who you are and why your opinion matters.

5. Deliver Straightforward and Transparent Answers

When addressing the query, clarity is king. Journalists are looking for direct answers that they can seamlessly integrate into their work. Avoid circumlocution. Instead, opt for straightforward responses that encapsulate your insights. Moreover, ensure you’re transparent. If you’re giving an opinion, state it as such. If you’re presenting facts, ensure they’re verifiable.

6. Add a Personal Touch to Your Pitch

Behind every HARO query is a real person, often swamped with numerous responses. Making a personal connection can set your pitch apart. Whether it’s a short anecdote, a personal insight, or a relevant experience, humanizing your pitch can make it more memorable and relatable. However, always ensure that any personal touch aligns with the query and doesn’t stray off-topic.

7. Back Your Claims with Solid Data

In an age of information, empirical data is gold. If you’re offering insights, bolster them with relevant data. Whether it’s a study, a survey, or firsthand research, such empirical evidence not only adds weight to your pitch but also positions you as a thorough and reliable source. However, ensure your data is from credible sources and presented in a digestible manner.

8. Promote Value, Not Yourself

It’s a subtle dance. While the underlying motive is to gain exposure, overt self-promotion can be a turn-off. Instead, channel your energy into showcasing the value you bring. Offer insights, share expertise, and contribute meaningfully to the query at hand. When you focus on adding value, the exposure and recognition you seek often follow organically.

9. Polish Your Pitch to Perfection

A pitch riddled with typos or grammatical errors can diminish your credibility. Beyond just proofreading, ensure your pitch flows seamlessly. Use clear, concise sentences and avoid jargon. Consider the readability and structure of your pitch. Sometimes, a second pair of eyes can offer invaluable feedback, so don’t hesitate to seek a review from a colleague or friend.

10. Enrich Your Pitch with Additional Resources

Beyond your main pitch, consider what supplementary materials can bolster your position. Relevant articles, prior interviews, studies, or even a detailed portfolio can provide a journalist with a richer context. However, it’s crucial to ensure these resources are supplementary. Your primary pitch should always stand on its own, with these resources serving as beneficial extras.

11. Be Ready and Reachable

Accessibility is often overlooked. Including clear contact details is a given, but also consider stating times you’re available or preferred modes of communication. By reducing friction in the follow-up process, you’re not only showing professionalism but also respect for the journalist’s time.

12. Respect Given Guidelines

Each HARO query can come with its unique set of guidelines. These can range from word limits to specific points of interest. Treating these guidelines as gospel can increase the chances of your pitch being considered. They’re a clear indication of what the journalist values and expects, and adhering to them demonstrates your attention to detail.

13. Maintain Professionalism at All Times

The realm of HARO, like any professional ecosystem, demands decorum. Whether your pitch is picked up or not, always maintain a courteous stance. Building positive rapport can open doors to future opportunities. Moreover, word travels fast; being known as a reliable, professional source can significantly bolster your reputation in media circles.

14. A Gentle Follow-Up Goes a Long Way

In the deluge of responses, even stellar pitches might get overlooked. If you’re confident in the quality of your pitch and haven’t received a response, a gentle reminder can work wonders. Frame your follow-up as a nudge, expressing continued interest and availability. However, know where to draw the line; incessant follow-ups can come across as desperate or pushy.

15. Adapt and Evolve with Experience

Every pitch, irrespective of its outcome, is a treasure trove of learning. Reflect on responses, or the lack thereof, and adjust your strategies. Over time, you’ll discern patterns — what works, what doesn’t, and areas you can refine. Continual learning and adaptation are the cornerstones of mastering the HARO game.


Navigating HARO requires a blend of tact, expertise, and adaptability. As you immerse yourself deeper, remember that every pitch is an opportunity, not just for exposure, but for growth. With dedication, reflection, and continual refinement, you’ll soon master the art of the perfect HARO pitch.