Vocus kicked off its 2010 User’s Conference with a huge announcement of interest to PR professionals and journalists alike: Vocus has acquired Help A Reporter Out (HARO). HARO has built an impressive base of users over the past two years, becoming one of the most popular PR services. HARO’s success is largely due to its foundation as a journalist-friendly PR service.
From day one, HARO founder Peter Shankman (@skydiver) has gone to great lengths to protect journalists from the persistent problem of PR spam – the sending of off-topic pitches to journalists. By being strict about the rules of engagement for pitching journalists through HARO, the service has also become one of the most popular tools used by journalists in the news gathering process.
While I suspect a lot of long-time HARO purists will worry about how the service will change once it becomes part of the Vocus offering, both sides know users don’t want that. According to Peter Shankman, “Nothing will change.” He’s joining the Vocus team and will be working with the company on further extending the value of HARO to users, as part of the Vocus family – while preserving the integrity of HARO, and finding ways to make it even better. [Read more…]