The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

Morning Brief — Thursday, July 24

Yesterday saw a lot of coverage of Peter Shankman’s HARO (Help a Reporter Out), a Profnet-like service that matches up PR folk / experts with journalists: Mediabistro, Gawker, the Industry Standard.  I’ve posted about HARO before, but in the four(?) months since Shankman started the service, the group has grown from 1,000-ish members to almost 20,000 as of this morning.  More importantly for us as publicists, major national media outlets from The New York Times to USA TODAY to CNN and many more are now using HARO to source their stories.  Although I don’t see queries appropriate for my authors all the time, I do frequently see queries that would be appropriate for other peoples’ authors.  (If I could be bothered, I would pass on those queries, but I can’t be bothered, so you should probably just take two seconds to sign up for HARO if you haven’t already.)

HARO’s primary benefit for book publicists is that unlike most PR folk who represent only a handful of clients, we represent dozens (or hundreds) of authors who can speak about dozens (and hundreds) of topics — HARO’s reporter queries are therefore that much more useful / applicable for us.

Shankman sends out three email messages a day with reporter queries.  He summarizes all queries at the top with details below, so it takes all of 10 seconds to eyeball the message to see if any of your authors might fit.  I’m not saying this works all the time, but it is a free and efficient way to supplement our publicity efforts.


M.J. Rose of Buzz, Balls & Hype directs us to a post about how Twitter circumvented the press release by tweeting their news.  My word.  When I was a recent college grad working for a Big PR Agency I was driven to the brink of madness keeping track of Press Release Draft # … 19.  (That’s when scrubbing bathroom floors starts looking like an appealing career choice.)


July 24, 2008 - Posted by | Pitching Tips, Press Material | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. You’ll be glad to know we’re hoping our new launch will do away with the press releases of old- no more word docs, email attachments, etc. It’s time for a digital, social media release for the masses!

    Comment by Jason Kintzler | July 24, 2008 | Reply

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