The Truth About ProfNet and HARO: Every Trade Has Its Tools

Adrienne Mazzone

By Adrienne Mazzone, Executive Vice President, TransMedia Group

Public relations professionals can make media contacts very easily if they know how to create angles that would spark a journalist’s interest. Usually, once you’ve worked with an editor or producer, you can re-approach them if you have another newsworthy angle to pitch them. Just make sure it’s topical and engaging and not just you hoping for a favor. That’s not how the media rolls!

Monitoring queries form services such as ProfNet, HARO, Sourcebottle and using social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter are your best bet to hitting media targets. Bullseye for ProfNet. Bullseye for HARO. Those are the best resources out there. How do I know? Happy clients!

Someone once told me, “Advertising you pay for; PR you pray for.” I’ll leave that to religious and Biblical scholars. Just know if you’re holding a media conference for a client, make sure the President isn’t in town because they will surely be heading where he’s going and not to Rock Hard Taco, a fast food eatery by the beach in Boca Raton where we’re planning a media event to introduce their delicious food and meet the owner.

So you think you might be able to create an angle that would get your media contacts to want to “cover” your clients? Let me illustrate with a client example, in this a case, a sunscreen product. There must be 100 different sunscreens out in the market and on the shelves. What makes your client’s sunscreen different from the rest and why would it be a story?

Dig into the background of the inventor, in this case, the most respected name in Israel, Dr. Fischer. Gather testimonials about the product (Dr. Fischer’s ULTRASOL® Sunscreen), create events, get involved with charities, do giveaways and contests. This is all great to keep a buzz but an article written about the product and who’s behind the product is what a PR pro wants.

To continue the client example, Dr. Fischer’s sunscreen product has components for age-control, sunburn defense, antioxidants and a dehydration defense. These are all components that are backed by scientific research, which add validity to pitching stories to the medical trades, blogs, new product listings, etc.

A ProfNet query comes thru from a blogger interested in doing a giveaway. The first thing to do is check their Google ranking. Usually a 3 or more ranking proves to be worth sending samples to in return for a review. Then, I explain to my client that it’s a terrific way to go viral and generate more media review resource. I write to the blogger and inquire about where most of their readers are located—what’s their following, etc. Soon, I find out the blogger was based in Florida with a strong following in sunny Florida. The sunscreen capital. Bullseye! Dr. Fischer’s products are sold throughout Florida. After some back and forth about a review, it turns out the blogger shared that she was recently diagnosed with skin cancer.

Bingo. We ship samples to her and she loves the product and all that it offers for her condition. We now have another story!

Yes, after being a publicist for so many years, I do have contacts—but using ProfNet and HARO keeps a steady flow of new contacts. And while I use both services, I must say that ProfNet is my preferred of these handy “Tools of the Trade.”


Adrienne has spearheaded successful PR campaigns such as grand openings, film festivals, book campaigns, new product launches, placing expert speakers and more for clients world-wide.  TransMedia Group is a multi-lingual firm serving clients worldwide since 1981. 



1 Comment

  1. Janet Thaeler on October 5, 2012 at 11:24 am

    What’s the Twitter account that aggregates queries from HARO, ProfNet and a lot of others like them?

    I use HARO and others to get ideas for stories too. It helps me see what is trending right now. I see when and what people are writing about. For example, I pay attention when people start pitching holiday stories.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Blog on,