HARO vs. Traditional PR: Which is Better for Your Business?
The world of online marketing can be muddy at best (and that’s putting it lightly). However, one thing has become certain as the industry progresses forward at breakneck speed, it is often the quality of your work that will yield better results than mere quantity alone. Although Satlin once famously said that quantity is a quality all of its own, this doesn’t really manifest very well regarding marketing and online outreach! Consequently, new ways of doing business have emerged that have proven highly effective at building authority within your niche and boosting your reach via the usual search engines. Two of the primary methods that have emerged include HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and PR outreach. With the information in this post, you’ll be able to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option and make an informed decision about what’s best for your company.
What Is HARO?
HARO has been around for a while but has recently taken off as a legitimate method of acquiring very high authority backlinks and mentions in some of the world’s most significant publications (think NY Times, Washington Post, BBC, etc.). The concept is that you sign up for the dedicated platform and search through the numerous queries from various reporters looking for experts in a particular field they happen to be writing about. Once you find something you believe you can contribute to, you craft a response and message it via the platform. The idea is to hopefully elicit a response from the reporter so that you can provide information related to their story and, thus, be included in it with a mention or a backlink. While most links will be to your homepage and most likely nofollow, you can gain enormous credence from simply being included in such illustrious publications.
Advantages of HARO
As you might have already guessed, a link from a news outlet that ranks among the largest and most authoritative on the web will undoubtedly boost your credentials and, by association, that of your website and business. Moreover, you can include the mentions on your own homepage or about section further to boost your authority in your readers’ eyes.
Limitations Of HARO
Although HARO is a fantastic method of gaining some of the highest-quality backlinks available, it’s certainly not a bulk technique. As I mentioned at the start of this post, quality is the new way of doing business vis-a-vis marketing; you still need a certain weight of links to compete against more considerable competition. Unfortunately, unless you have an unlimited pot of cash to pour into the process or use a service which does HARO outreach for you, you will never see the kind of velocity that other link-building techniques can offer.
How Traditional PR Works
Traditional PR, which is sometimes also referred to as “earned media,” is the process of getting your business mentioned in prominent publications related to your industry. This type of PR involves building relationships with journalists and editors, pitching story ideas, and securing coverage for your business. In some ways, it sounds externally similar to HARO, but with a few key differences:
- HARO involves using a dedicated platform and sifting through the various pitches
- Traditional PR involves a more holistic type of outreach and can be a more involved process
Fundamentally they are the same and involve the same kind of approach when it comes to outreach (writing concise pitches and proving why you should be included). However, they differ in the sense that you have to put in more legwork when it comes to PR outreach.
Advantages Of Traditional PR
Like HARO, if successful, you will be included in a host of well-known and authoritative publications that can instantly boost your online reputation. Not only can these links expand your authority with your readers, but they can seriously move the needle regarding search engine positions. Moreover, you won’t be competing against the volume of HARO hopefuls, making it more likely to achieve success (at least in theory).
Limitations Of Traditional PR
As with HARO, it involves a lot of work without any guarantee of success. Moreover, because you have actually to perform your own research and outreach, the process is far more involved than your run-of-the-mill HARO pitch.
Deciding Which Strategy Is Best For Your Business
If you have the wherewithal and resources on hand, the best approach is to implement both methods into your marketing mix. After all, the more effort you put in, the more likely you will achieve the results you yearn for. However, for most, it’s often best to begin using HARO to establish what’s required when pitching, then move on to PR options to send your marketing efforts into the stratosphere! Both of these methods are considered excellent ways to boost authority by almost all marketing experts out there. However, each comes with pros and actions, and your chosen option will depend on your ability and resources.