You started a PR challenge in June. What’s the goal and how is it going?
In June 2020, I started a publicity challenge to promote my business. The goal is simple: respond to 100 HARO queries to promote my business. I measure success by the number of replies, links, and relationships I develop.
That’s a lot of activity to manage. How do you keep it organized?
I have a multi-step process that I use every business day.
Set up my HARO tracker sheet in Google Sheets (see a screenshot of it here: https://bruceharpham.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/HARO-Pitch-Tracker-Screenshot.jpg). The spreadsheet has two sheets: the actual HARO queries and responses and a performance tracker.
Review HARO emails three times per day (morning, mid-day and evening)
Copy and paste direct, and indirect HARO queries to the tracking sheet and note the deadlines
Respond to 6 postings per business day.
What do you mean by direct and indirect PR opportunities?
As I read through the HARO queries, I look for direct and indirect PR opportunities. A direct opportunity would be a posting related to my core services (e.g., content marketing and related disciplines) or target market (i.e., software companies). Indirect opportunities would include broader topics like productivity, where I can add my perspective.
If I find more PR opportunities than I can handle, I prioritize my time by focusing on directly relevant opportunities
What results have you seen from the project so far?
For the week ending June 18, I have responded to 90 postings. So far, I have earned three opportunities, including a quote and two long-form interviews. Additional opportunities are still in the works. Later on, I will start the follow-up process to see if I can build relationships.
What are your lessons learned from this challenge?
I have learned a few lessons from the project so far.
From a time perspective, it takes about 60-90 minutes per day to respond to 6 HARO queries. That time frame helps me to organize my day.
From a quality perspective, I learned the need to slow down and make sure I meet every point. For example, I responded too quickly to a HARO posting and omitted requested information like a link to a headshot photo. That means I probably missed that opportunity.
From a link building perspective, I have focused so far on links to my domain, BruceHarpham.com. The next step will be to promote specific content assets like my guide to SaaS marketing channels (https://bruceharpham.com/saas-marketing-channels-the-only-9-growth-channels-you-need-in-2020/).
What’s next for your PR and content marketing efforts?
I have found that this HARO focused PR strategy is a good fit for my skills, so I am going to keep up going for the foreseeable future. When my SaaS growth book comes out later this year, I will adjust my publicity efforts to promote the book.
Bruce Harpham helps software as a service (SaaS) companies get more leads through content marketing. Based in Toronto, he serves clients around the world. Visit his website, BruceHarpham.com, for exclusive interviews with SaaS marketing practitioners.