Top 10 Help A Reporter Out Alternatives Which Work Better vs HARO Itself

6 Comments Last updated on November 13, 2020 By Dmitry Dragilev PR Tools

Looking for an alternative to Help a Reporter Out (HARO)? HARO shares requests from journalists seeking sources for their articles in a daily email newsletter. While it helps you connect with journalists who are actively working on a story, a few limitations to keep in mind:

1. Since HARO has approximately a million subscribers, you may have to compete against many other replies to the same journalist query.

2. HARO is an email newsletter so you receive journalist requests starting from the day that you subscribed but won’t have access to previously sent emails.

3. With HARO, you can choose which topics to receive emails about such as High Tech and Business and Finance. Since these topics are quite broad, you do have to scan each email to see if there are any requests related to your expertise, experience or industry and many emails may not contain any queries you can answer.

This is why in addition to replying to journalist queries, it’s important to also proactively pitch journalists, bloggers, and podcasters who have written stories related to your industry or company to land press coverage. Here are the best HARO alternatives to help you do this.

1. JustReachOut

Good for: solopreneurs and startup founders doing PR on your own

JustReachOut is a PR platform you can use to find journalists, podcast hosts and bloggers who have written articles related to your industry or keywords. They have a team that verifies the contact information of journalists and you can customize proven templates to pitch them. JustReachOut has built-in tracking for pitches you send from the platform to let you know if the journalist opened it or not.

JustReachOut offers PR strategy calls, brainstorms, pitch reviews, email support and lessons to help finetune your search keywords, improve your pitch angle and get replies from reporters. You can also search for requests from journalists seeking sources with keywords related to your industry or company.

Key features

  • Search for journalists and bloggers who have written about topics relevant to your company or industry
  • Search for relevant podcasts to pitch yourself to be interviewed as a guest
  • Search for journalists seeking a source for their stories (pulled from HARO, #journorequests and a few other newsletters)
  • Search for blogs that are accepting guest articles
  • Search for content that contains broken links to articles you have on the same topic
  • Human verified contact information of journalists
  • Send tracked pitches from the platform

Pricing

JustReachOut starts at $199/month or $1910/year (20% off). 

2. Muck Rack

Good for: Large companies, PR agencies and consultants who work with large companies 

Muck Rack is a PR platform that lets you find journalists and influencers to pitch. You can review reporters’ articles, beats and interests to see if they’re relevant to your company or industry and which pitch angle would resonate with them. You can also create alerts for your search keywords to monitor new stories on these topics.

Muck Rack notifies you if a reporter you’ve added to your media list changes their beat or job, which is helpful given the high turnover in the media industry. It also lets you create reports, newsletters, graphics and article snippets to share your PR campaigns and pitching progress with your company or client.

Based on user reviews, they pull a lot of journalist info from Twitter so if some journalists you’re looking to pitch don’t use it, they may not show up in Muck Rack’s database. It is also missing some local and regional publications.

Key features

  • Search through a database of journalists and influencers
  • Provides the contact information of journalists and influencers
  • Measure the impact of a press feature or influencer campaign
  • Create newsletters, graphics and article snippets to share your pitching results

Pricing

Based on Prowly’s research, Muck Rack’s pricing starts at $5000/year.

3. Meltwater Media Intelligence

Good for: Large companies, PR agencies and consultants who work with large companies

Meltwater is a media intelligence platform that lets you search for publications and journalists using keywords related to your company or industry. It helps you track your media mentions across online news, print, broadcast and social media so you can monitor your overall brand awareness.

They have a lot of features that cater to large companies tracking extensive press coverage. You can set up dashboards to track data points useful for your PR campaigns and content marketing such as coverage sentiment and audience insights and create newsletters to share media mentions with your company or client. You can also keep tabs on your competitors’ media coverage and social media reach with their intelligence tool.

Meltwater also lets you monitor all of your social media accounts on their platform and reply to comments. In addition to journalists, it has a database of influencer profiles you can search through to reach out for collaborations and partnerships.

Key features

  • Search through a database of journalists and influencers
  • Monitor social media performance and customer sentiment
  • Create reports and dashboards that show and track social media and digital marketing metrics
  • Schedule content to social media accounts

Pricing

Based on Prowly’s research, Meltwater’s pricing starts at $4000/year.

4. Cision Communications Cloud 

Good for: large companies, PR agencies and government agencies running campaigns

Cision Communications Cloud is an all-in-one marketing and PR platform where you can search for journalists and influencers and build media lists to pitch. You can also monitor your company’s mentions across traditional, digital and social media and keep tabs on the coverage your competitors receive.

Cision owns the world’s largest press release distribution network, PR Newswire, so you can push your company announcements there and share them with media lists you built. You can also:

1. Connect your social media accounts to schedule content and receive insights about your brand engagement

2. Reach out and build relationships with influencers

3. Create reports of your PR performance across social media, digital publications and traditional outlets and measure the financial impact of your earned media

Key features

  • Search through a database of journalists and influencers
  • Keep tabs on your competitors’ social media and press coverage
  • Get insights about your followers including their demographics, location and purchase intent
  • Measure the impact of PR, and influencer campaigns
  • Create custom reports to share with team members or clients

Pricing

Based on Prowly’s research, Cision’s pricing starts at $7200/year. 

5. #journorequests, #RadioGuestList and #prrequest on Twitter

Good for: solopreneurs, freelancers and startups doing PR on your own

Enter #journorequests, #RadioGuestList or #prrequest into Twitter search and you can find many requests and questions from journalists and writers looking for sources and experts for stories they’re working on. The one benefit of these hashtags over HARO is that each request is not seen by a massive audience so you face less competition. You can enter #journorequests, #RadioGuestList or #prrequest along with keywords related to your company or industry into search to narrow down the results.

Most writers who ask for sources on Twitter have their contact information in their bios so you can send a pitch directly to their email. The downside with this is, not every journalist may ask for sources on Twitter and if you’re looking to get featured in authoritative publications, you have to weed out requests from writers who may be working for lower ranked websites.

If you’re looking to have all requests from journalists in one place, JustReachOut’s Press Opportunities feature sources reporter queries from #journorequests, HARO and a few other newsletters and you can search for relevant ones using keywords related to your industry or company.

Pricing


Free

6. Qwoted

Good for: PR specialists, startup founders

Qwoted is a platform where journalists can find expert sources for articles they’re working on. Where they differ from HARO is, you have to apply and be approved as a source and you have to reply to journalists directly on Qwoted. They do not provide journalists’ contact information.

While Qwoted’s source approval process means you have to compete with less people replying to the same query, Qwoted tilts the playing field in favor of journalists as it lets them receive all of their replies in a message stream on the platform and lets them filter sources by gender and geography. Journalists can also choose to reach out to you on Qwoted but this depends on whether the credentials, media experience, gender and geography listed in your profile matches what they’re looking for.

Key features

  • Get approved as a source and pitch journalists who are seeking insights and quotes from experts
  • Create an profile with your credentials and areas of expertise and receive some inquiries from journalists working on a story

Pricing

Paid plans start at $149.99 per month

Their free plan lets you reply to 3 journalist queries a month


How to choose the right PR platform for you

Based on our extensive PR experience, it helps to reply to requests from journalists but to land more press coverage, it’s important to combine this with proactive outreach to journalists who have written about topics related to your industry or company. This is because many journalist queries may not match up with your expertise, experience or industry and when they are seeking a source for a story, you typically have to compete against many other replies.

With proactive PR outreach, even though you are also fighting for attention in journalists’ crowded inboxes, you can get your foot in the door with an unique story angle or by sharing interesting information or data points related to your company or industry. Replying to a journalist query limits what you can say to stay relevant to what they’re asking for, so you have less of a chance to stand out.

Based on this, to choose the right PR platform for your company, ask yourself: what are the features I absolutely need? For example, it may be important for you to be able to use keywords to find relevant journalists but you may not need to monitor social media on the same platform. The more features a tool has, the more they tend to cost and the deeper their learning curve.

For doing proactive PR outreach, the most important features a platform should have is:

1. The ability to search for journalists, influencers and bloggers who have written about relevant topics using specific keywords related to your industry or company. This also lets you reference one of their previous articles as the reason why you’re reaching out to them, to show them right off the bat that you’ve done your homework on their areas of coverage and have something relevant to share.

2. The verified contact information of these journalists. Due to the high turnover in the media industry, each platform really needs to be on top of this to make sure that the email addresses for the reporters in their database is up-to-date. At JustReachOut, we have a team who verifies the contact information of journalists and also provide the personal email addresses of some journalists (which rarely ever change).

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Written by Dmitry Dragilev

I'm the founder of JustReachOut.io which helps 5,000+ small businesses and entrepreneurs pitch press and get exposure daily without any help from PR firms.

6 thoughts on this article
  1. MOrgan Wllis  Reply

    Solid research. I do find you have to get pretty lucky with journalist queries to get quoted, proactive PR is definitely the way to go.

    • Dmitry Dragilev
      Dmitry Dragilev  Reply

      100% Morgan. We do have a tutorial on how to answer press opportunities here, but yes luck has a lot to do with it 🙂 Alternatives listed here are just a good way to add something more proactive to your outreach.

  2. Penelope Chuz  Reply

    Thanks for the list. Looks like the big ones (Meltwater, Cision, etc.) are pretty much for enterprise companies to do all of their marketing (social media, PR and content marketing) on one platform.

    • Dmitry Dragilev
      Dmitry Dragilev  Reply

      Hey Penelope, yup you got it. Small/mid size businesses typically need solutions which are designed help you get press even if you’ve never been in press before or done a podcast episode. Meltwater/Cision are for companies which get press and need to monitor it/scale it. They’re usually rather expensive.

  3. Alexis Morris  Reply

    This is helpful, thanks. I’m working on surveying a bunch of people to create an year-of-the-end report to pitch for my startup.

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