Game Changing Tips for Writing HARO Pitches for Therapists


Game Changing Tips for Writing HARO Pitches for Therapists

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Published: Jul 26 2023

Have you been submitting pitches on HARO day after day without getting picked, and are now starting to wonder, why

You know without a doubt that you’re the best source for this opportunity, so why aren’t reporters choosing you? 

While HARO can be an invaluable tool for private practice therapists trying to grow their practices – there’s a slight problem – competition

You’re not the only one that knows how much HARO can help. In fact, there’s likely hundreds or thousands of your peers also pitching themselves — each one trying their best to gain more exposure or publicity in the media.

When used correctly, you can leverage HARO to really get your name and your clinic out there to more people. So, if you want better luck with getting chosen as an expert source, there's some effort that needs to be put in. That means creating the best HARO pitch, so they’ll want to choose you again and again. 

HARO for Therapists: How It Works

If you’ve been part of our community for a while, you’ve seen our post on how HARO can help you build your network and your business. If not, we’ll go through a quick recap of how this system works, and how it can help attract your dream clients

What Is HARO? 

HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. It’s a freemium platform where you do exactly that by responding to reporters’ queries on subjects that are within your area of expertise.

 If you’re responding to the ones that fit you, that alone can help you write better, high-quality pitches.

How Does HARO Work?

Once you’ve signed up for HARO and set up your account, you'll start to receive daily emails containing hundreds of queries from reporters and journalists. From there, you can choose the ones that align with your knowledge base, then send a pitch or response to the reporter.

How Can HARO for Therapists Help Bring in More Clients?

If you’ve submitted a great pitch, the reporter may choose you as their expert source or consultant. This means they’ll probably mention you and your practice name in the article and include links to your website, help you build backlinks, and strengthen your online reputation. 

All of these ultimately help boost your business’ SEO strategies.

Finding the Best Queries To Pitch For

The first step in making the perfect HARO pitch is to make sure you’re doing it for the right queries. This means responding to the ones that you can actually showcase your knowledge with. 

So, how exactly do you pick the best ones for you? 

If you set up your HARO account well, it can actually be pretty simple. This means that you’ve maximized your keywords and alerts. 

Here are a few tips for optimizing your account:

  • Invest in the right subscription: There’s nothing wrong with using HARO’s free service, but keep in mind that each subscription tier gets you more features, like choosing a keyword that you’d like alerts for. This makes it easier to have queries for topics you want sent directly to you without having to comb through hundreds in the free version’s email.
  • Subscribe to your fields of work: With a free account, you can subscribe to specific topics or industries, like “Business and Finance.” As therapists, “Biotech and Healthcare” and “Lifestyle and Fitness” are two key query category options.
  • Set up email alerts for specific keywords: If you’re knowledgeable in other areas aside from mental health and the broader industry options on the site, creating alerts or saved searches matching specific keywords will make things easier.
  • Carve out time to search queries manually: If a paid HARO subscription isn’t for you, we recommend carving out time each day to search for your preferred keywords using the platform’s search tool.

With these simple tips, you can ensure you’re receiving or finding queries that align with your industry, experience, and knowledge. If you’re responding to the ones that fit you, that alone can help you write better, high-quality pitches.

This can really limit the number of HARO queries or requests that you write pitches for. It’s really not a numbers game, as it's a matter of quality over quantity. If you’re actually qualified to help the reporter, the media will be able to tell, as they’ve become pros at vetting sources.

How Do You Write a Perfect HARO Pitch? 

The perfect query has come your way, and you’re about to write a pitch so you can be one of the first to respond. Let’s get into our top tips and a step-by-step formula to make sure you’ve got a winning pitch. 

Fully Understand the Query

One of the secrets to writing a perfect pitch on HARO is to fully understand what the journalist wants. 

Take the time to really digest what they’re asking. It will help to ask yourself the following questions (or similar questions along the same vein) after reading the query.

  • What are they looking for?
  • What details do they need?
  • Do they have any limitations?
  • Did they give a deadline time or date?
  • Are they asking for specific tips, general advice, or your personal experience?

Most importantly, make sure to check if the journalist listed any criteria for experts and whether or not you meet all of them. 

It hardly matters whether you know the topic like the back of your hand — if you don't meet the requirements, then you may simply be wasting your time. 

Follow the Guidelines

Once you fully understand what the reporter is asking for, you can start working on the draft for your pitch. As you start drafting, keep in mind any guidelines or rules the reporter may have set and make sure to follow them all.

For example, if they only ask for one tip, then give only one. However, just as you have to avoid oversharing, avoid undersharing as well. By this, we mean try to steer clear of statements like, “Contact me for more details” or “Call me to discuss further.”

You should give full details of what the reporter is asking for — nothing more and nothing less.

Stay Away From Fluff

Your responses to the journalists should be complete, but make sure you stay on topic. There’s no need for fluff when writing a HARO query pitch. Rather, expert sources are expected to stick to the topic and answer the question as clearly and concisely as possible. 

For example, let’s say you’re answering a query asking about therapists’ opinion on the effectiveness of Suboxone for treating addiction. 

You can include your personal experience or maybe a few advantages and disadvantages of Suboxone treatments, but not much more beyond that. They don’t need to know about what modalities you use in your practice and how they’re more preferable than Suboxone. 

The reporter may not have time if there’s too much extra information and could skip right over your great response. 

Write in Soundbites

If your response is ready-for-print with no edits required by the reporter, they’re much more likely to pick you as the source. You’ve made their job easier because they can pick these soundbites straight out of your pitch. 

Speaking from your own experience can help make the soundbites more interesting as well because it gives the response a unique point of view, which a journalist is more likely to find useful and interesting. 

If the reporter is pressed for time, they might just use the information in the pitch, and not ask for any more details. This is the main reason why your response should fully answer their query.  

Use an Appropriate Tone for the Pitch

The best tone to use generally depends on the type of information the journalist wants. For example, if they are asking for opinions, personal experiences, or a therapist’s advice, then you should use a more personable tone. If they’re asking for clear facts, it may be better to take on a more direct, formal, or clinical tone.

Keep in mind that the reporter is most likely writing for the general public, so in both cases it's useful to avoid technical jargon. This isn’t a piece being submitted to a medical research journal so it’s more beneficial to put your answer in layman’s terms.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Word Count

Pitches aren’t meant to be full length articles. 

In general, it’s considered a best practice to keep your HARO pitches at 300 words or less,  according to HARO’s parent company Cision. Though they noted that most journalists prefer pitches to be even shorter at around 175 words or less. 

Reporters are looking for quick, complete answers so try to keep an eye on your word count. 

Create Your Own Pitch Template

Since time is of the essence when responding to a query, having an email template you can use will save you a lot of time.

Although your responses for each query will be different, there are some crucial elements to your pitch that should always be there and will remain the same. These include:

  • Your credentials
  • Details about your practice-  location, what you do or who you work with
  • Phone number and email addresses
  • Your private practice website
  • Any social media handles or links

Include a generic greeting and quick introduction. You can keep it brief by providing your name and credentials. The rest of your details can go on a boilerplate or a contact information block after your query response.

Some experts on HARO advise that you keep the opening to just a couple of lines and go straight into answering the reporter’s question first. While this is a great suggestion, it can also depend on the individual reporter’s personal preferences. 

Essential Tips for Writing HARO Pitches for Therapists

It takes much more than just a well-crafted response to win a reporter over. 

A pitch not only needs to be delivered with speed, and accuracy – it needs to be eye catching and convenient for the audience. 

What good is it if they never get to opening the email and reading it because it got lost among other generic responses? 

Every time you submit a pitch, you’re potentially competing with hundreds or even thousands of fellow mental health experts. 

So how can you stand out from the crowd? 

Send Your Pitch ASAP

Reporters usually work in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. They have quick turnarounds, so the faster you send your response, the more convenient it will be for the reporter.

Keep an eye on your inbox around the time HARO sends out their query emails. 

After all, the early bird catches the worm.

Always proofread and edit your writing.

Proofread Your Pitch

Time may be of the essence, but that doesn’t mean it's okay to send a sloppy pitch. 

Always proofread and edit your writing. Reporters tend to be experts in the English language and grammar, so you’ll want to try your best to meet their standards. 

If you struggle with this, there are tools like Grammarly that can proofread for you. 

Maximize the Email Subject Line

Use the reporter’s query title, or at least the first part of it as your subject line. If you have something else in mind that can concisely answer the question, you can include that after the original subject line. 

If it’s made clear what your response is in regards to, the writer can quickly know what you’re messaging about, even if they’re just skimming through their inbox. 

Another option is to let them know right away that you’re an expert in the field or subject they are inquiring about. This can be done by listing your key qualifications and credentials after a portion of the reporter’s query title. 

Make Sure They Can Contact You

Whether you respond via email or through HARO’s platform, always remember to include your contact details. It’s a good idea to include your main contact information, as well as some alternatives. The easier it is for a journalist to contact you, the more likely they’ll choose you for their article.

If you were a reporter with a deadline looming and a couple of follow-up questions, would you wait or move along to the next expert who is easily reachable with competitive qualifications?

Aside from your phone number and email address, it’s also helpful to include your website and all relevant social media handles if they're actively used.

List Your Credentials

When crafting your response for the media, you should list your credentials at the beginning of your submission. If you have a lot and they take up more than a line or two, you can pare it down to just the most relevant ones to the query, and list your complete qualifications at the end of your response.  

Seek Help From Fellow Experts when Writing HARO Pitches for Therapists

HARO can be an amazing tool for building connections with the media and expanding your professional network. With a little bit of practice and the tips for writing HARO pitches we provided, we’re sure you’ll start seeing your quoted name in articles in no time. 

Many therapists and healers who are part of Clarity Cooperative are active on HARO and we welcome you to network and build connections. If you have any questions or want more support along the way, Clarity Cooperative’s community is here to help. 

We also have a library of comprehensive resources to help you grow your private practice. Whether you need help with HARO, improving your online marketing strategy, or optimizing your deductions — we’ve got you covered.

Try out our Pro subscription with a risk-free 30 day trial today and experience all the tools we have to help your business succeed.

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