Getting Free Press the Easy Way

Help A Reporter WebsiteIn the past few months, I’ve had a lot of conversations about online marketing that can be summed up as “Everything old is new again.” Suddenly, there is a lot of buzz about press releases and how they can help your company or your product get free press. This is true…and desirable…even if your business lives on the Internet.

As an example, I’ll point to a new startup called NapaMapa.com. In case you haven’t heard about NapaMapa; it is a very cool little site that helps you map wine tasting itineraries in California. As part of its roll out, NapaMapa posted press releases to several online services, including PRWeb.com. And guess what? That press release was picked up by WineBusiness.com.

A quick reality check here.

There are thousands of press releases sent out everyday. So it’s no wonder most of them get ignored. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get the press to come to you with their questions?

Well now you can.

I found an interesting site called HelpAReporter.com. The concept is really simple. At the core of HelpAReporter.com (HARO) is the idea that “Everyone is an expert at something.” You as an individual or a business owner can create a free account (paid accounts are also available). When you sign up you identify yourself as either a “source” or a “reporter”.  Everyday thereafter you’ll receive emails that contain queries from reporters. Instead of trying to chase down an unwilling reporter, you get to be a hero and provide valuable, relevant information to a receptive reporter. In theory, it will be easier to get your information in print if a reporter needs the facts for a story that is already assigned.

Here’s a scenario using NapaMapa as an example. Let’s say a reporter in California  is putting together a lifestyle piece on visiting wineries in Sonoma and Napa. The Marketing Director at NapaMapa , Adam Herman, would see  a query regarding travel tips for the region. With a simple email reply he can satisfy the reporter’s question and get valuable press space. It seems downright serendipitous. But it isn’t…it’s just good marketing.

I signed up as a source on NapaMapa. At the very lest, I’m hoping this will be an interesting experiment. I’ll check back in with the results to let you know if HelpAReporter.com also has the potential to help you with your online marketing efforts.

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