Friday, October 10, 2008

Pssst: Want to get famous?

Got company experts? Yes, you can be a "haro"

Meet Peter Shankman, our marketer of the week. Nearly every Friday, we introduce you to a marketer or an entrepreneur who's succeeding online.

Peter Shankman is a CEO, entrepreneur and adventurist. He's built HelpAReporter (HARO), a social media mailing list, with nothing but word of mouth. It drops three emails a day to over 35,000 people, allowing them to find journalists who are working on what they know - i.e., he gets them famous. Oh, and did I mention, it's free?

These aren't all requests from obscure publications. Yesterday's list included requests from the Washington Post, Dow Jones, Jim Lehrer's News Hour, a national morning television show, Runner's World and some blogs with significant readership. Many requests concern the financial crisis (see the list below).

One reporter wanted to talk to people rethinking their 401 ks. Someone else needed a young woman with "old lady" foot problems. Don't even ask.

There was even a great b2b request from "The Best of 2009 HVACR Distribution Business magazine," whose reporter was looking for tips on what readers should do differently in their business during 2009, given the current distressing economic situation.

Peter answered these questions via email:

What's been your biggest online success?

Seeing a fundamental shift in PR and how reporters and sources connect, and knowing that I'm at least partially responsible for that.

Your absolute worst moment online?

The first time Gawker attacked me.

What's been the wackiest request you've had through HARO?

Vagina surgeries.

How do you stop PR flacks from dominating responses?

38k people, none of whom can really monopolize. They also know if they spam off topic, I hammer them.

If you could only choose one social network (ie. Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, etc.) which one would you choose?

Facebook. Allows me to find out who a person is, not just see their resume.

Where do you go for new ideas?

Running and skydiving.

Your sites ? and

Got company experts? Yes, you can be a "haro"

To give you a quick taste for the range of requests in each bulletin, yesterday's afternoon's included these (in addition to 25 or more from journalists reporting on health, families, niche markets, etc.) from business and finance reporters:

  • 401(k) vs. Pensions (Washington Post)
  • Retail Spending and Consumer Gift Cards (Dow Jones Newswires)
  • New York Yellow Cabs (Ottowa Citizen)
  • Marketing Executives (Major Finance/Biz Magazine)
  • Business Tips for 2009 (HVACR Magazine)
  • Your Employer Went Bankrupt - Now What? (Major Consumer Site)
  • Selling a home during the Winter? (Online Consumer Mag)
  • Small Biz Using Factoring Service (Washington Business Journal)
  • Icelandic Journalists/Financial Experts (Newshour with Jim Lehrer)

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online editor Julie Power Friday October 10.


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