I and some very talented PR pros are absolutely anguished that we can’t work together on my latest story. Do I care? Yes. Is there anything I can do about it? No and yes.
I can get well over 100 responses to a HARO query I post. I get more than 50 often. The statistics shouldn’t discourage you; they’re meant to give you some insight into why great pitches sometimes don’t make the cut.
Often, it’s a matter of timing. My queries are designed to start at 5:35 a.m. ET and end at 7:00 pm ET. Because I’m on PT, I start receiving pitches while I’m dreaming and throughout my work day.
HARO sends PR pitches in batch, which a lot of PR people don’t know. That means, I’ll get no emails for an hour or two, or maybe more and than BAM! I’ll get lots of them, all of a sudden.
The batch process is frustrating for both of us. I sometimes wonder whether I’m going to get enough of the right sources for a story, and usually I end up with way too many. Almost without fail, some of the best pitches come later in the day. The pitch itself may not be top-notch, but the client is. Alternatively, the pitch is excellent. It hits all the points, includes interesting information and all that. Ultimately, we’re both anguished because I have too many sources. This current story has 16 which is waaay to many. It takes a lot of creativity to fit that many people into a story, and a lot of fact-checking. At some point, I just have to say “no,” when I really want to say “yes.”
The good news is, I can say “yes” to something. That’s explaining the situation to the person and leaving the door open for future pitches. People seem to appreciate that, which makes it worth the effort.
So, to recap: Your pitch will have a better chance of succeeding if it’s relevant and timely.
Believe me, I understand why pitches are late: You’ve been busy with other things, you needed to talk to your client, whatever. I get it and I don’t fault you for it.
If you have any complaints about HARO, I’d love to hear them. I’m not out to bash HARO. I just want to understand what’s driving you nuts on the other side of the system.
Keep up the good work.