This site, Help A Reporter Out/HARO, is a great resource for anyone with expertise in any field who wants to be better known. (It’s also a resource for journalists, but I don’t have any experience with that side of the site.)
To participate as a source, you sign up and then are sent three emails every work day. Every email consists of 35-50 reporter queries, grouped by area (‘Travel’, ‘Tech’, ‘Education’, etc). Included in each query is the deadline, name of the reporter (if provided), anonymized reporter email address, and media outlet. There’s also some advertising, but I tend to skip past that (although I did click once on an ad that led me to learn about Google Apps Scripting).
Once you get the email, you scan the queries and see if you can and want to respond to any. I recently responded to one, but before that I’d passed off a number of requests for information to other people. Such handoffs are a great way to help other people out, and it’s kinda fun–who doesn’t want to talk to a reporter? (Psst, if you’re looking for a job, sending over a reporter query related to a company’s business is a great way to build rapport with people there.)
As I said above, a few days ago I’d finally found a query I felt I could help with, and responded with an email answering the reporter’s questions. The reporter responded, and I ended up have a 10 minute phone call about the story. So even when you actually participate, it’s pretty low impact.
I will say the hardest part of participating in HARO for me is scanning the emails–scanning 150 queries a day wears me down. I’ve stopped scanning them all, but still check from time to time.
I just think this is the coolest example of something that the internet allows, but couldn’t happen (at scale) any other way. The costs, both in money and time, of sending out and responding to reporter’s queries would be just too high.