Today we say goodbye to HARO [PR Tech Sum 53]

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Google News Top stories in today’s PR news summary: Cision shuts down HARO brand; Agility adds “intelligent insights”. PR tech company replaces employees with AI

On the first Tuesday of every month, I categorize all the news I can find regarding PR and communications technology and present them in summary posts like this one.

This month we have some slightly more eclectic announcements. But according to an email sent to subscribers at the end of March, the HARO service is ending today, so we thought it was worth digging into the HARO news again.

And this month’s continuationPR Tech Sam.

>>>Need an extra hand? Sword and Script Media can help with your B2B marketing, PR, and social media.

1. Cision’s move to discontinue the HARO brand

Cision is retiring the Help a Reporter Out (HARO) brand. The change is significant, according to an email the company sent to HARO subscribers. The message included the following:

  • you need to create a new account To access HARO queries.
  • The daily HARO Queries email newsletter will be replaced by Connectively’s new searchable query feed. ”

This email also mentions that they have premium features they would like to sell to potential users, and in my assessment this is probably the real reason for the change.

This change will take effect on April 2, 2024. The last HARO sent.


HARO was founded by peter shankman It was founded in 2008 as a Facebook group for journalists in need of resources. It eventually grew into a technology-based email list that was free to users using an advertising model. An important feature was being able to field questions from journalists looking for sources for stories they were actively writing. Importantly, the response mechanism kept emails anonymous, which helped avoid future false PR pitches.

In its heyday, it was a treasure trove of PR.

A small text ad written by Shankman appeared at the top of every email newsletter sent three times a day to tens of thousands of subscribers. Because Shankman injected his personality into the content, the newsletter had a very high open rate and the ad click-through rate was high. In other words, the ads were often informative and entertaining, which is why they worked.


PR software company Vocus acquires HARO 2010 The amount is not disclosed. At the time, I was his PR director for Vocus, presenting at the Vocus customer conference and featuring Shankman as the keynote speaker. This was, and continues to be, one of the coolest announcements I’ve had the privilege of contributing to in his PR career.

Vocus retired its advertising model and began replacing Shankman ads with whitepaper and webinar promotions. As the web has evolved, so has the quality of queries. Increasingly, inquiries came from corporate bloggers with commercial interests, rather than journalists who had to complete articles by a deadline.

The weight of countering journalistic backlash

At the time, Vocus was under fire from journalists who saw the company as a source of PR spam. This was one of the first cloud software companies and almost certainly the first SaaS model in the history of PR technology or communications technology.

Before I took over, the company was adding a “Leverage Vocus” footnote to every PR message sent through the system. It was inspired by the launch of the iPhone, which added the words “Sent from iPhone” to the bottom of emails sent from the device.

This move would have been great in other circumstances, but in this case it was a disaster. Reporters received more emails than ever before, many of which could be traced back to his Vocus. When I arrived, all the angry calls from reporters on the support line were transferred to me.

figuratively invest

I had a lot of passion personally and professionally to protect the company. Journalists slammed the company for selling emails. Oh MalikThe man behind the hugely popular Business 2.0 sent out a sharp tweet that went viral. The CMO came to my desk to make sure I was okay.

“He crushed us,” the CMO said with a wry smile.

peter kafka I can’t remember if it was a phone call or an email, but he insulted me directly, but later he softened his tone. To the best of my memory (perhaps reflecting how this incident changed me) feel), in that soft tone, he said something to the effect that my employer thought it meant dirty, or something like that.

It was a very humbling experience and one that was common during my tenure. In fact, many times I worried that I was jeopardizing my future career prospects. But I learned a lot about reporters and pitching in that position. A good person will respect his ethical PR person who is willing to discuss ideas that interest him.

Rather than shying away from hard, thankless work, I embraced the role. I did my best to protect the company’s reputation. I’m not defending spammers, but I am defending tools that can improve performance if used properly.

If a carpenter hits a nail that is bent, who do you blame, the carpenter or the hammer?

The HARO acquisition was strategically positioned to alleviate this criticism. Today, we are stewards of technology tools that are also designed with the needs of journalists in mind.

Today is dozens of companies We offer similar services around the world.

Footprints in the history of PR

Vocus was eventually acquired by Cision. dizzying array of acquisition. There are too many in my opinion and the company is having a hard time finding a way to bring them all together, including his HARO.

At one point, I was looking at ways to raise money to acquire HARO from Cision and reinvigorate it. To this day, I believe this model still exists, with some tweaks. Reporters still rely heavily on email to do their jobs. That would require a certain level of passion that Shankman brings.

One thing is clear: HARO and Shankman made an indelible impression on the PR professionals they served at the time. This challenged his PR professionals around the world to consider what was then an nascent opportunity for digital PR.

This service may be gone, but the idea of ​​”helping reporters” remains as a way to get coverage.

Works written in HARO pending closure in January We provide a list of alternative services that may be of interest to our readers.

Note: Since this article was written, original HARO founder Peter Shankman has relaunched the concept under a new name. please help all reporters (Hero).

This service may be gone, but the idea of ​​”helping reporters” remains as a way to get coverage.Click to Tweet

2. Agility adds “intelligent insights”

Agility PR Solutions Announcing new AI features It’s called “intelligent insight.” This capability enables organizations to gather insights on the fly from global print, broadcast, and social media platforms, analyze specific brand mentions and trends in context, and perform language translation. .

Simply put, the idea is that AI helps summarize posts and articles captured by the Agility monitoring system. This allows you to understand the important points of the article without having to take the time to read the entire document. The goal is to save time for her PR professionals at organizations that have garnered significant amounts of coverage.

Agility is the only major PR software provider to have developed a native LLM that we created ourselves.I started barreling white labeling Agility technology This time last year (2023), so customers can benefit as well. Most of the other vendors in this space are white label technologies from OpenAI, which makes ChatGPT and DALL-E.

3. PR tech companies replace employees with AI

According to a French news agency covering the call center, Onclusive has started replacing some staff. From France’s former Kantar Reputation Intelligence with artificial intelligence:

“209 people are retiring or have already retired.” [at the end of 2023]had up to 383 positions, which were made redundant to be replaced by AI-powered computers. Eight vacancies will remain unfilled and 23 “new positions will be created,” Libération newspaper said.

January 2022, Private Equity Firm obtained Kantar Reputation Intelligence, PRgloo and Onclusive – merged and established under the Onclusive brand.

While this latest move may make financial sense, it marks the company’s second major crisis communication setback in Europe. last month, PR week report The company experienced a cyberattack that caused a service outage. This service lasted him as long as two weeks for at least one of his customers.

A spokesperson later contacted the blog and said the service interruption was limited to European customers, and US-based customers were not affected.

4. PR technology overview and mentions

  • Mobile app for the Notified PR platform. the notification says so Deployed mobile app The platform is available to iOS and Android customers. Users can track and share media mentions on the go.
  • Measurement template. muck rack I said it would be soon We will release an “results-based template” to measure the value of media relations. This includes several improvements to relationship tracking and pitch analysis to evaluate successful pitches.
  • Reddit data. reddit announced Cision purchased access to the Reddit Data API for social media monitoring. Customers of both Cision and Cision-owned Brandwatch will have access to the data.

5. Content selection

  • A new study of Reddit comments shows that political communication is not inherently harmful; in fact, it attracts harmful trolls. Any topic; If haters hate – trolls troll..

6. Want to share a PR software or communications technology announcement?

This isLatest list of PR technology companies I’m watchingand here is a clear explanationWhat you want to cover.

>>>Need an extra hand? Sword and Script Media can help with your B2B marketing, PR, and social media.

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