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.

2 thoughts on “Help A Reporter Out

  1. Nancy A. says:

    We are customers that Skadate is abusing, and we would like to share with people everywhere what we have learned about Skadate.

    Skadate is a company using international time zones, boundaries, and a
    slick marketing program to sell as many dating and social network sites as they can, and once the international customers have been snared, you can forget all about anything else, as they have what they are after..THE SALE.

    Skadate is hiding behind international time zones, and using international boundaries to sell a product that many customers do not realize, they will not provide support for. It is all about the “grab as many international sales as you can” game.

    A friend of mine was a sales manager for many years, and showed me how it is easy to see what Skadate is doing to its customers.

    They do not want to use a phone, so they can escape the customer, as they hide behind intermittent emails sent once every 24 hours..

    Yes, Skadate has nice colors and graphics, and a fairly attractive
    product, but they do not care about their customers..

    Skalfa / Skadate is into stuff to make as much money as they can, and “forget” the consumer. They are into Skalfa, Skadate, Oxwall Foundation, to list a few. It is no wonder the customers worldwide who bought into the Skadate program cannot get anything resembling real customer service or support.

    If you want to buy a Skadate template site, and you have your own IT
    people or webmaster, you may be the perfect customer for the international sales program that is Skadate, Skalfa, or whatever..

    I know, for we are customers..

    WARNING! Do not think to deal with a support program that cares about you, you are on your own the moment you buy their product.

    Wake up people! How is it possible for a company in Russia to sell
    thousands (?) of dating and social network sites, and service them all..?

    The fact is, they cannot do it.

    Take it from a real customer, SUPPORT is Skadate’s weakness.

    And in some cases, they will actually create greater problems for the
    customers then they had at first.

    If you are not an expert in this technology, you do not want to deal with
    Skadate..

    We have tried and Skadate failed us..

    We have problems because we tried to believe in, and trust in Skadate and Skalfa.

    The Skalfa / Skadate company that Irene and Emil are describing is not the company that we know of, or that others have experienced.

    Skalfa / Skadate’s great announcement of their having joined forces with SODTECH out of India, is not what it is purported to be. Instead of this awesome alliance between two companies, it is really a much welcomed opportunity for Skalfa / Skadate to try and resolve the failures to provide true customer support and service that is equal to their aggressive international sales efforts.

    Throughout the internet there are genuine complaints about Skadate that Irene has done a masterful job of crisis management with. On this site, Irene tried to make it appear as if her views of Skadate being a great company are shared by this blog’s owner too; when Dan Moore, revealed to my friend [Today, November 6th, 2011] that he personally had to send several Tickets to Skadate, and that he would “never recommend Skadate to anyone!”

    Here is an excerpt from Irene’s post of April 5, 2010 at 5:00AM:
    “My name is Irene. I represent Skadate Dating Software Company. First of all, I would like to thank you for taking time to post this Skadate review. I must say that we agree with a lot of your key points.” Notice how smooth Irene is, in taking control and making it appear as if Dan Moore actually supports Skadate and wants to post a review, that Irene wants everyone to surmise, is “favorable”.

    This is the Skadate that we have experienced. They are so good at sales, but their support and customer service is nonexistent. This is the real reason why Skalfa / Skadate entered into an arrangement with SODTECH; they had to find a way to provide service and support to the customers they had sold their products to, but had no support for.

    Dan Moore went on to say, that he has had “four or five people” contact him during the last year with problems with the Skadate software.

    Now, people, where I come from, when one person hears five to six bad things out of a company from Russia [we believe they are from Russia], half way around the world, let the number multiply in your minds tens of thousands of times which are unseen or unheard of, and what do you get? You get customers like us, who bought their social software for two sites, and now have experienced a horrendous problem, and Skadate is nowhere to be found.

    Dan Moore, “Naomi” [on Ripoff Report] and the others that are out there, including us, know something about Skalfa / Skadate that you might need to keep in mind when considering their product, without support or customer service. In fact, we are thinking of creating a blog just to deal with Skadate issues and beefs people have with this company.

    We have tried to contact Irene, but “she is out of the office”. Skadate’s support department sent an html code to us, to allegedly repair a problem with their Administration Control Panel Settings, that when we installed it, it wiped out our Administrative Control Panel, leaving only a few lines of html in its wake.

    We, like Dan Moore, and Naomi of Ripoff Report, and others would not recommend Skalfa / Skadate social software to anybody.

    Further proof that Skalfa / Skadate is hiding from its customer, is that Skadate is using this address below, which is a shared address by many clients of a firm titled, Pacific Registered Agents. For a fee, Pacific Registered Agents will set someone up with an agent in the state that is desired. They do not have to be in that state, but may purport to be, as they use an address other than where they are actually located.

    The fee for Oregon is $75.00.

    Here on Skadate’s website, you will see this address:

    http://www.skadate.com/about_us.php

    SkaDate is a division of Skalfa LLC (USA).

    Address:
    942 Windmere Dr NW
    Salem, OR, USA
    97304
    Phone: (+1) 971-239-5969
    Fax: (+1) 971-223-3233

    This address is actually the address of Pacific Registered Agents
    http://www.pacificagents.com/servicefees.html

    Take the address and type it in Google, and see that this address is shared by many companies, some the subject of consumer complaints online.

    Skalfa / Skadate, if you are reading this post, answer this question. Why are you utlizing an address where you are not to be found?

    In closing, Skalfa / Skadate, as exemplified in their international agreement with SODTECH of India, to provide customer support on their behalf, cares only about the sales.

    I would not recommend them to anyone; when the sale is complete, they grow mighty quiet.

    Caveat Emptor [(Latin) “Let the buyer beware”]

    Nancy A.

  2. Angela says:

    Yes evsrytning you said happen to me. After the sale they didnt do anyyhing tje promised. I sent email after email to get them to responed about an update to I9 they just lied to get me to buy it saying it was coming the next mth. My site wouldnt work at all! None of my members come get my site to work at all! Until they lost intrest and stopped loging in. That mth. The mth. They promised me in writing on email turned into 6mths. Then after all that time when they did come out with the I9 they Finally sent me an email letting me know I can purchase it for an additional cost $200! Since day 2 I told this company to send my money back. After a long run around a lady named Irene I sent me a message saying she Understand my frustration and with offer me a full refund. If I wasn’t willing to exc accept a $100.off the update i9. I told her I will not give company another dime I wanted my refund! Although this was all in writing. That was a week ago and I haven’t heard anything from her since! This has been going on All this HELL for 8 mths! If there is a way to nail these Crooks to the wall IM IN!!!!!!!

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