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.

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.