journalist hunting

Table of Contents

Journalist Hunting - The Thrill Of The Chase


Usually Journalist’s are hunting others down, whether for a story, comment or a reveal. In the context of this article we will be referring to Journalist’s that are regular users of platforms such as Terkel, Qwoted, Help A Reporter, Sourcebottle and more

Why Would You Need To Chase A Journalist

Stalker obsession stories aside, there are a myriad of valid reasons to why you should chase a journalist. 

If you’re using the PR platforms well and providing valuable comments, it’s likely this will occur as you will be represented in online media and some tweaks may be needed. Such as

Link Issues:


Link Attribute Issues:

i. The link is a nofollow link.

ii. No link attributed to the client/representative website.

iii. The link type is wrong – ugc, sponsored, or nofollow.
iv. It links to the company’s social media pages, not the website.
v. Links to experts’ LinkedIn profiles but not their website.
vi. The link is directed to the wrong URL.

Link Accessibility:


i. The link is within an ebook.
ii. The page that the link was on doesn’t exist anymore.
iii. There are weird URLs or URLs with campaign or tracking parameters.
iv. The article redirects or has a new URL, and the comment or link is gone from the updated version.
v. The link is behind a paywall.
vi. There’s an error in the code of the link or webpage.
vii. They only link to partners or affiliates.


i. There are weird URLs or URLs with campaign or tracking parameters.
ii. There’s an error in the code of the link or webpage.
iii. They only link to partners or affiliates.


Content Issues:


Contextual Issues:

i. Comments were taken out of context.
ii. Comments were edited and do not accurately represent the original message.
iii. Truncated or significantly shortened text used compared to the content that was sent.

Anchor Text Problems:

i. Anchor text does not accurately describe the linked content.
ii. Misleading or irrelevant anchor text used.
iii. Inappropriate or unrelated words used as anchor text.

Incorrect/Invalid Information:

i. Inaccurate job title.
ii. Inaccurate company or product information.
iii. There is a discrepancy between the information promised and the information delivered in terms of link status, URL direction, or anchor text.


Communication Issues:


Comment Removal Requests:

i. Requesting comment removal due to the journalist’s failure to provide a link.
ii. Client’s explicit request for comment removal.

Quote Visibility Issues:

i. Quote chosen but article has not appeared yet.

Alternative Website Linking:

i. Notification of quote usage without visibility of the quote, link, or representative.
ii. Linking to the expert’s alternative website/s.


Help A Reporter Out Customer Service

It’s not great, let’s be honest. Much like its platform it’s messy and combulated.


The few problems I have had with them have taken an age to resolve, or in most cases not been resolved at all.


I made a complaint about companies abusing the platform for reciprocal links but their actions were disappointing to say the least.

One of their biggest issues to date was their query emails weren’t being delivered so potentially hundreds of insights and time were wasted.

More issues

  1. High competition: Due to the large number of users on the platform, there can be intense competition among sources to respond to queries. This can make it difficult for individual sources to stand out and get noticed by journalists.

  2. Time-sensitive nature: HARO requests often have tight deadlines, requiring sources to respond quickly and provide comprehensive information within a short timeframe. This can be challenging for sources who may not have the necessary availability to respond promptly.

  3. Spam and irrelevant queries: Some sources might face the issue of receiving numerous irrelevant queries that do not match their expertise or interests. Sorting through these irrelevant requests can be time-consuming and frustrating for sources.

  4. Quality control: HARO requests may vary in terms of credibility and legitimacy. Some sources might encounter issues with the quality of the queries, as some journalists might not adequately vet their queries or might not provide enough context, leading to ambiguity.

  5. Overuse and repetitive queries: Some sources might find that certain topics or industries are overrepresented, leading to an inundation of queries on the same subject matter. This can make it challenging for sources in less popular areas to get exposure.


An Error

They may have used your comments out of context or in most cases a small typo. They could have spelt your name (a little annoying) or your company name wrong (very annoying) and you – quite rightly – would like it fixed.

No Link

This isn’t an error but it is something worth your time to chase up. If the article refers to your company, a request to have it linked is a reasonable, if not always a successful request. 

You don’t ask, you don’t get ghosted/refused OR actually in our experience 30-40% chance of getting a link. We’ll talk about if it’s a DOfollow at another time 😉

Further Collaborations

Building relationships with journalists is vital in the digital PR industry. The idea of one comment/link relationships seems a colossal waste of time, if you can collaborate more often, on other outlets you can get more mentions and links over and over.

You can pitch ideas for yourself, or your clients. Work with them on upcoming article, or simply be there for quick comments from various experts when they are needed. Not all advertiorials need to be paid for.

A Simple Thank You

Underused but very much appreciated. Time poor journalists may not have time to thank you for your comments, but they appreciate a thank you nonetheless.

How To Chase A Journalist

More to come, but there are so many (thank you technology) ways to try and communicate with this rare but exceptional breed

Social Media

Firstly, leave their Facebook alone, unless it’s a company page it’s a no go. You can chas them on Twitter and Instagram, providing they use them for work purposes. If not, stay away.


Twitter tip, you can search their tweets via Advanced search or from the mobile phone version checking when they used @ in their tweets as can reveal a time they offered up their work email


LinkedIN is perfectly fine. You can usually find this information from their author bios or simply a search of their name, providing it’s not too common.

Their Own Websites

A lot of journos are freelance, and as such need to promote and sell themselves to various potential employers. Lots will now have their own websites, with emails and contact forms listed on there. #Result

Email Finder Software

If you can’t find any emails or contact forms, you can use software (free versions available) such as Snovio and Hunter

Their Editor

Each publication and online media has their own editor. That email is freely available. Depending on the reason for the chase, you can contact/email the editor directly or ask them to pass on a message.

Their Colleagues

The same reasons as the editor, but perhaps more successful as you may have worked with them previously, giving you a warm in from the start.

The Sign Off

Journos are busy, so are you. If its a legitimate request its worth an ask, 55 phone calls, 1000 emails and the odd smoke signal.


Give up after 5 efforts, or you;re just wasting your time and not just theirs.

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By Bretto

Founder of Haro Helpers. An ex traveller, current CEO and future retiree.