Huge news today from HARO, the thrice-daily email blast that connects the needs of daily working bloggers and journalists with the offerings of PR people, companies and onlookers.
HARO founder Peter Shankman wrote on his blog about the "tickle me" huge growth his service has experienced in the past year. It's stunning! Look at these stats:
HARO’s Growth Figures Include:
* In August 2008, there were 1500 journalists using HARO, sending out 650 queries per month to about 20,000 sources.
* Today, there are 30,000 journalists who have used HARO, sending out more than 3000 queries per month to over 80,000 members.
* The number of advertisers for HARO’s free-for-both-subscribers-and-journalists service skyrocketed 3900% from August 2008 to August 2009.
* The HARO staff rose 400 percent in the past year. (in Non-PR-speak, that means we hired four people.)
* Revenues over the past year have leaped from $15,000 as of August 2008 to just over $1MM as of August 2009 with advertising inventory on HAROs already sold out for 2009.
Peter also writes: "My COO calls us a social media success story. I agree. I do think though, that in the end, it comes down to this: We’ve created something here that people like. Something people use, something that saves time, helps people and companies grow, and helps journalists better do their job. We’ve kept it fun, had a good time creating it, always listened to the feedback of every single member, and tried to run it less like a business, and more like a family. It was always about good karma. It will continue to be."
Tremendous news all around for a service that is helping to dethrone an old PR dinosaur or two.
Coincidentally, I also had today a weeks-old-planned breakfast meeting with HARO's COO Thom Brodeur, so I took the opportunity to ask about HARO's big growth and what's next. I didn't really put on my reporter hat and pull out a notebook, but I gleaned enough from Thom to see how HARO will continue to be a strong force to connect reporters with sources, but with more features to come.
Thom talked about HARO's 81% email opening rate (insane!), its thrill of having already sold out 2009's ad inventory and how its user survey brought forth info from reporters and sources that helped to define its next steps.
In the release, Thom is quoted "In the coming six to twelve months; you will see even more innovation, powerful strategic partnerships and new services from HARO to support the reporters, sources and small businesses we connect every day.”
These next steps, Thom said, will help HARO to gently outgrow its founder's early goals and grow into what he calls a "PR, marketing and sales eco-system for the engine of our economy - small and mid-sized businesses." Look for HARO to keep its essence (Thom said 92% of users surveyed said it's a 'perfect' service), but look for more news categories, tools for journalists and other developments to come.
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