HARO Walks Its Talk

Jonathan Bernstein crisis management

One of the traits that can lead to crises for both businesses and individuals is failure to walk their talk.

No such problem over at Help a Reporter Out (HARO), the new and phenomenally successful email list started by the effervescent and ubiquitous Peter Shankman. Subscribers receive high-quality media leads — the same type of thing we PR pros have had to pay big $$ for in the past — and are asked by Peter NOT to waste a reporter’s time by sending him/her story pitches that clearly do not meet their needs.

Some subscribers apparently weren’t paying attention, and what resulted was this message to all of us in the lead of a recent HARO email:

For those who don’t think I’m serious about making sure you stay on topic…

This morning, I got a pitch (as did MANY of my key journalists on HARO) about the rumor that Matthew Broderick cheated on Sarah Jessica Parker, and offering me a celebrity life coach to talk about it. Within five minutes, I got emails from about 10 journalists, all asking why got the same email, as well. See, most journalists on HARO use specific HARO addresses. So they know where the pitch was coming from. Totally off-topic, totally inappropriate, totally unacceptable.

Alas, Nancy Mure, Chris Burres, and the rest of WOW Media will no longer be allowed on the HARO list. I won’t sit here and let reporters get totally off topic pitches from publicists who simply don’t get it, or worse, don’t care. I don’t care that other lists don’t care that you spam journalists. This is MY list. Don’t like it? See ya.

Help a Reporter Out — Walking Its Talk

Jonathan Bernstein
Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.