Journalist Source: Canada’s HARO

haro Over the last few months I’ve found Peter Shankman’s Help a Reporter Out service to be an invaluable source of potential media leads.

The service allows journalists to submit queries, which are then emailed out in one of three daily emails from the service to an ever-expanding list of ‘sources’ who can browse the queries, decide if they can fulfil any requests, and get in touch with the journalists.

Unfortunately for those of us up in Canada, the service is largely US-focused. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve looked at a query and thought "I have the perfect person to talk to that" or "One of our clients’ products fits that description perfectly!" before realizing that the query is for the U.S. while we only represent the client north of the border.

While each of the HARO emails usually contains between 20-40 queries, only a few tend to be relevant to Canadians.

Journalist Source

Meanwhile, a similar service focusing on Canada has gone largely unnoticed.

Journalist Source, created by Brendan Dermody and Greg Majster, follows the same model as HARO – journalists submit their queries using a simple form, and people sign-up to receive the queries via regular emails.

So far the queries through the site have been occasional, likely because HARO has shot into the stratosphere and garnered most of the attention. Still, I’d love to see the service take off up here.

If you’re a Canadian PR pro, I strongly encourage you to sign up for Journalist Source and support it. If you’re a Canadian reporter, why not submit your query there as well as via HARO? It only takes a few seconds and the more people who use it, the more useful the service becomes.

Given that the service is free, even one successful pitch or one useful source means you’ve come out ahead.

  • In Europe and the USA, PRs and journalists have long been using a service called Featuresexec/Response Source. Another version of this is Media Altas. The key is to read carefully a journalist’s request. The same service allows you (on subscription) to access the editorial features calendar for any given publication that produces one. Invaluable! but again use it intelligently as you can get a reputation if not and will find your submissions junked. It’s a small world. Am glad Canada is on board! Glad to support it.

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  • Not Me, Thanks

    I think it’s gone largely unused because they tend to spam journalists. I had to ask three times to be removed, and was then threatened in a not-so-subtle manner when I sent an email saying if he did not remove me from his list (as I’d never signed up) then I’d let ever writer know he was a spammer.

  • Thanks Dave and a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    Thank you to everyone who uses our service and promotes new ways of communicating in our industry. Props to Peter Shankman’s H.A.R.O. for leading the way.

    With regards to the anonymous post, “Not me, Thanks.” Let’s set the record straight here, shall we… JournalistSource does not spam journalists nor do we “threaten” people. I am offended and disgusted by the “Not me, Thanks” post.

    No such event has ever taken place with JournalistSource’s service in which a journalist or source was threatened or had to ask three times to be removed from our source base. This is simply not true. I consider this accusation to be libel and encourage the poster to show the readers his/her true identity.

    For those of you who know our service, there is no sign-up form required for journalists. Journalists are not on any list. Journalists submit their request and that is it. Furthermore, the sign-up form for sources has an opt-out link which can be used at anytime to unsubscribe from journalist requests.

    Thanks to all the journalists, sources and professionals in our industry, like Dave, who are a positive force and always there to lend a helping hand.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays.

    Brendan

  • @Brendan – thanks! Same to you and your family.

  • Twitter Comment by @writingmother (writingmother)

    Canadians can try “Canada’s HARO” [link to post] I’ve heard some success stories.

    http://twitter.com/writingmother/statuses/1077142778

    – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • I logged in to this and signed up but either the website is down or it has finished completely. Does anybody know? Are there any alternatives?

  • FINALLY a resource for Canadians. Thanks for this resource.