Glossary of HARO Terms: Every Keyword You Need to Know

Nov. 3, 2023, 9:09 p.m. in

HARO, which stands for Help A Reporter Out, is a service that facilitates journalists in sourcing expert knowledge and insights for their stories. It is also a leveraged tool by professionals, specialists, and thought leaders to advance their standing in their communities. As experts provide informed commentary or compel an intriguing narrative around a reporter’s topic, they gain brand visibility and credibility.

There are various terms associated with HARO that often seem bewildering for beginners and even some seasoned users. However, digging under these technicalities presents a diverse area of opportunities and rewards. In fact, understanding this glossary of HARO terms can be quintessential in leveraging the platform.

This article is part of our series on HARO.

Below is what we will call our "Glossary of HARO Terms," consisting of every term you need to know:


In the language of HARO, a source refers to the individual or representative ready to provide useful insights or facts on a given topic requested by a journalist.


Journalist encompasses reporters, bloggers, and any other content producers who are seeking expert sources for their publications. These can range from traditional media outlets to digital platforms.


Queries are the requests for information posted by journalists pertaining to certain topics. The range of topics varies considerably, including sports, finance, technology, healthcare, and everything in between.


A pitch, in HARO terms, refers to the proposal you send in response to a query raised by a journalist. It typically includes a brief introduction, the reason why you're a suitable source, and the information or insights you can provide.

HARO Digest

The daily emails sent out by HARO to its members, which contain various queries from journalists, arranged by topic or category.


This is another service similar to HARO that simplifies the process of finding expert sources for journalists. Both are now owned by the same parent company, Cision.


The parent company of both ProfNet and HARO. Cision provides sophisticated public relations software to help clients manage, execute, and measure their PR strategies.


Journalists often seek inputs for an upcoming or unpublished piece. This means the article or story is not yet published, and the journalist is actively looking for contribution.


The deadline is the date by which the journalist needs your pitch. It's important to observe these closely, as late submissions are typically ignored.

Premium Subscription

While HARO services are free for users, they also offer a premium model that provides early access to media queries, among other advantages.

Anonymous Queries

These are queries in which the journalist has chosen not to disclose their identity or affiliation. This can be associated with very high-profile media outlets or sensitive stories.

Embargo Date

A few journalists may set an embargo date, which is the date before which the information provided should not be released or discussed publicly.


A concise description of you or your organization, proving your credibility and expertise on the subject matter linked to the query. Often, this bio is included in your pitch.

Link Building

One of the indirect benefits of using HARO is the organic link building that arises from being cited as a source. Reputable media outlets often include a link to your webpage when referencing you.

Media Outlet

The term refers to the specific media or publication where the journalist plans to publish the story. This can include newspapers, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and more.


This refers to the significant term or phrase in a journalist's query. It helps sources to quickly recognize if their expertise aligns with the query or if the query is relevant to their field.


This term relates to the specific field, industry, or specialty a query aligns with. It is essential to know your niche well and find queries within your niche to offer expert advice.


This term is a little complex in the context of HARO. It refers to the potential readership or exposure that a response to a query could have. For example, a media outlet with a large distribution has a broad readership.


When a journalist uses your insights or advice in their story, they often credit you, the source. This credit is known as a citation, and usually includes your name and your business name, if applicable.


A backlink is a link to your website or blog that is embedded within the article or post that cites you as a source. This is considered a major SEO benefit of using HARO.

Subject Matter Expert (SME)

An SME is an individual who has extensive knowledge or expertise in a specific field or industry. Journalists are always on the lookout for SMEs to enhance their stories.

Pitch Guidelines

These are the instructions or guidelines provided by journalists regarding what they are looking for and how to respond to their queries. It is essential to follow these guidelines to increase the chances of your pitch being accepted.

Underlying any successful PR campaign or media strategy is the understanding of the relevant terms and lingo. Equip yourself with a solid understanding of these HARO terms, and you'll find yourself not only navigating this valuable resource with increased ease, but also capitalizing on the platform's immense potential.

Remember, HARO provides a level-playing field for both established enterprises and rising businesses to utilize the same landscape as media outlets. It's not enough to expertly navigate HARO – you must also effectively respond to queries, and that starts with understanding the language.

Not only this, understanding these terms will enable you to leverage HARO as a strategic tool in your PR endeavors. Whether it's building credibility through high-quality backlinks or establishing brand visibility via targeted pitches, having an intimate relationship with HARO’s language will surely enrich your public relations strategy.

By comprehending the language of HARO, not only you will contribute to the meaningful narrative of a journalist, but you will also present your brand story as enriched, expert, and, above all, valuable. This is the power of harnessing HARO – it galvanizes not only personal expertise but also organizational standing in your chosen industry.

Start implementing these terms today and make your efforts count in this ever-changing landscape of digital Public Relations. Regardless of your industry's niche or your brand's current standing, knowing these terms can drastically upsurge your use of this powerful tool in today's digital PR climate. The ball is in your court, so play meticulously with your newfound glossary!