HARO vs Digital PR as a link building strategy

The popularity of reactive PR with HARO and digital PR is surging as businesses race to establish themselves as trusted entities worthy of ranking highly in Google.

It’s possible to run a HARO link building campaign concurrently with a digital PR campaign to land links from similarly powerful domains.

But, if you have limits on budget and resources — as most of us do — there are significant differences between the two you should be aware of that can help inform your decision.

HARO vs digital PR: pros and cons

Comparison of benefits

  • High-quality links from trusted domains: HARO is excellent for acquiring high-quality backlinks since responding to journalist queries is incentivized by a backlink. In contrast, Digital PR strategies may be more spontaneous but offer the advantage of lasting promotion through online publications.
  • Brand awareness: Digital PR strategies offer a more comprehensive approach to building brand awareness. In contrast, HARO only reaches a limited audience interested in the subject matter of the journalist’s query.

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Comparison of drawbacks

  • Limited opportunities: HARO can have a limited return on investment, given that journalists require specific details/industry expertise, and the probability of it relating to our business falls within a limited time frame.
  • Time-consuming: Digital PR strategies require creating plans, outreach initiatives, tracking, monitoring, and crafting newsworthy content.
  • Budget: HARO is free to sign up and use, whereas allocating a budget for Digital PR can range from modest to high.

Strategies for using HARO

  • Include credentials: List the company’s expertise, experience, any awards, and accomplishments to provide journalists with all necessary information.
  • Use proper punctuation: Ensure that the response aligns with grammar rules and provide a well-crafted, polished response.
  • Add value: Provide insightful details that appeal to the journalist’s needs and direct them to the requested information.

Strategies for using Digital PR

  • Craft perfect pitches: Create personalized pitches that target a specific journalist and publication, showcasing the benefits of the content and the source.
  • Create unique content: Provide fresh and exciting content that follows current trends and captures the attention of your audience.
  • Build relationships: Build relationships with journalists in the industry, nurturing those relationships. A relationship should be analyzed, such as what topics interest them, what does the journalist like to cover, and when is the best time to reach out.

Use HARO and digital PR together

  • Develop a plan: Create a strategy that leverages HARO’s benefits and Digital PR’s broader range and lasting promotion.
  • Know your targets: Research targeted journalists to determine their objectives, style, and preferences, ensuring that pitches and credentials help meet their approach.

How to choose between HARO and digital PR

Consider the availability of company resources, team capacity, time frame, campaign goals, event timing, and desired outcomes. Choosing one over the other ultimately depends on these factors.

Is HARO better than digital PR?

HARO has an excellent backlink incentive system but can require significant effort for low returns.

Digital PR takes a broader approach and offers lasting promotion but requires a dedicated budget and a highly effective strategy.

Companies should use HARO and Digital PR together to leverage their individual benefits and expand outreach and grow their online brand presence.


What are the best pitching strategies for HARO?

Companies should focus on providing unique, thought-provoking information that helps journalists write an article that answers their queries. Read our guide on writing a great HARO pitch.

How do I measure the success of my digital PR efforts?

The measurement depends on the goals set by the campaign. However, tracking metrics such as backlinks acquired, online visibility, search engine rankings, and any notable press mentions is usually beneficial.

Can I use HARO and digital PR for local SEO?

Yes. Companies can focus on media outlets that cover local news or publications that focus on local businesses.

How much time and budget should I allocate for HARO and digital PR?

This will depend on business objectives, team capacity, and the size of campaigns. Allocating enough time and budget will ensure that businesses can achieve their goals effectively.

David Boyd

David Boyd

David has been in SEO since 1999 and focuses most of his efforts in creating digital PR campaigns that earn links and brand awareness.

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