|New York Times reporter on the phone, circa 1942.|
Website Makes Finding Sources a Cinch
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a tool I consider invaluable to journalists. Gone are the days where we have to spend hours tracking down experts to interview for articles. Whew!
You can simply sign up for the service (even as a freelance writer), type up one query and it is sent out among a huge network of experts. Those interested respond to the query, which is emailed to you. It is then simply a matter of choosing the best expert or sources for your piece.
This year alone, HARO has connected me with average Americans for opinions on the Oscars, a speech pathologist to offer opinions on "The King's Speech," Natalie Portman's ballet trainer for "Black Swan" and "Twilight" fans to comment on "Red Riding Hood." For
news articles, I have been hooked up with Illinois residents who shared gas-saving tips and a therapist to explain the effect concern of potential nuclear contamination from Japan has on acute anxiety sufferers.
That's just a small sampling of how I have benefited from the service. Bloggers can also use HARO to find experts in their niche to interview. This could perhaps even lead to using those experts you get to know as guest bloggers.
Phone time can now be cut (along with phone bills) and more productively spent doing the actual interviews. Less phone time equals more writing time. More writing time means more money. Gotta love that.
What services, apps or websites have you found invaluable to your writing/blogging/reporting?
Photo credit: Marjory Collins (Public Domain) / Wikimedia Commons