Help A Report Out (or Haro).com is a free version of Profnet. Started by Peter Shankman, this great service is growing greatly based on word of mouth. Frankly, if it’s free and a way to pitch stories to journalists, us PR folks are on it faster than flies on shit.
So it saddened me when I saw this in a recent Haro newsletter:
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.
Please folks, let’s not kill a good thing by using this fabulous service to harvest emails. Granted, there are too many people who consider them “public relations professionals” because all it requires is an email address and the ability to type. I’m glad that Peter swiftly took them off his list. Hopefully this deters other folks from doing it, but why do I think this won’t be the first or last instance of this.
Sigh, maybe I can wish?