How This Financial Planner Got a Full-Page Article on The Wall Street Journal

Earlier this month, a friend and independent advisor was featured on the Wall Street Journal.

And when I say featured, I really mean featured. Not just a name drop. Not just a quick quote hidden in a 6-page article.

This advisor had a whole article to herself. They published her name. Title. Company name. Photo.

Katie Stokes on WSJ

(You guessed right. She’s talking about the effects Blueleaf automated reporting has on her business.)

After seeing this, I called Katie to say thanks on behalf of the Blueleaf team, but also to ask – How’d you get hooked up with the WSJ?

She replied, “You’re going to laugh. It was actually a simple HARO request.”

What’s a HARO request? HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. It’s an open community that connects ‘everyday people’ with writers and reporters so they can provide opinions, stories and expertise for the reporter’s article. People subscribe to HARO, get daily emails summarizing requests from reporters (based on categories you choose), and can respond to requests they find interesting.

Katie explained, “The request was for advisors to share anything we think is interesting to talk about that other advisors might care about… I replied and said I would talk about killing the quarterly report, why we don’t need it, why clients don’t care, and what we can do instead of quarterly reports.

“I respond to [HARO requests] occasionally, and sometimes nothing happens. This one I responded to and they called on it.”

One phone interview later, Katie Stokes, CFP®, was a full-feature on WSJ Voices – “column that allows wealth managers to address issues of interest to the advisory community”.

Katie is honored to be featured. “I’ve been an advisor here for 10 years, and now I’m making a transition to work my way upfront and be more of a leader than a young follower.”

We know you will, Katie.

Want your chance to be featured on the WSJ?

Follow HARO requests.

WHAT HARO IS:

HARO (Help A Reporter Out) believes “Everyone’s an expert at something.” They’ve revolutionized the way reporters get sources, and people get press. [*This is not a sponsored post, by the way. We just share stuff that’s interesting.]

WHY FOLLOW IT:

Once you start to use HARO the benefits are clear, but to summarize:

– automated alerts straight to you = no need to remember to visit the site
– browsing queries (even without replying) keeps you topical – What are people buzzing about?
– only respond to queries if you’re interested in the topic
– easy PR when reporters mention you in their published piece
– get featured on highly reputable publications – i.e. CBS, BBC, Yahoo, WSJ
– free.

HOW TO GET HARO ALERTS:

You can sign up at HelpAReporter.com/sources/free. They ask for your basic info and then walk you through the different media categories you can follow. After you’ve signed up, they will send emails to your inbox that summarize the HARO requests for that day, including contact info for submitting a response.

Here’s the HARO query Katie Stokes originally replied to:

Katie Stokes HARO query

TIPS FOR RESPONDING:

You can’t reply with “Give me a call. I know a lot about this” or “I saw your HARO request. If you’re ever looking for a source about (insert topic here), call me.”

When respond to a HARO request, it’s important to do so in a way that’ll increase your chance to be featured. Make it easy for them to receive your awesome input.

Stay focused on the topic – Give them a concise “preview” of what you know about the topic. Don’t write a novel and go off on tangents. Provide your pitch and conclude with “Happy to discuss on the phone if you’re interested in my view/story/opinion/etc.”
Address questions they ask – Don’t get lost in your own storytelling and ignore their questions. Copy/paste their question, make it bold text, and then provide your answer. Even if you only have a response for 2 of their 3 questions, answer the 2 questions deliberately, and s
Submit by the deadline – Duh, but many people miss the mark.
Provide a link for more info or an example, when applicable.
Use the title of their query as the email subject line.

Good luck! Enjoy the free PR.









Carolyn McRae Carolyn is Blueleaf’s in-house marketing guru. She writes on The Blueleaf Blog to make advisors’ lives easier, offering practice management and client engagement tips where and when they’re useful. Outside of the Blueleaf offices, she can be found running a 10k or cooking her famous chili. Chat LIVE with Carolyn on Twitter @BlueleafAdvisor!
  • Sounds Good – but…

    Be careful with HARO, the unpaid subscription doesn’t usually get the best reporters / publications.
    Here’s the problem – you can work on a piece providing valuable insights / research and the reporter simply takes it, and crafts their article around what you provided without ever contacting you or giving you credit.
    I’ve been on HARO for couple years and this didn’t used to happen, but today seems more common than not. If you’re putting in a lot of time on HARO you may find it very frustrating. If you’re paying for HARO it helps if you know the reporter via linkedIn or elsewhere, and if you don’t them then once again be careful not to put too much time on a request until they tell you they’ll credit you. The good reporters know this is a problem and they’ll tell you immediately that they’ll credit you.
    And if you see Constance Gustke (NYT, CNBC) she’ll completely waste your time – and she’ll never credit you.

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