There are movers and shakers, and then there is Peter Shankman

By Matter

Peter Shankman makes all the right moves.

The guy is brilliant and, if you’re in PR, you can’t help but know that he has a cat named Karma and, when he’s not jumping from an insane altitude, he’s training for an Ironman. Oh, and he’s the founder and CEO of a PR/journalism game-changing company called Help a Reporter Out (HARO).

HARO was founded on Facebook in 2008 and has since grown to be THE social media services company that connects writers and sources. In my opinion, two things make HARO particularly unique: It’s a free service for all involved and it’s a no-BS community where PR pros are held accountable for the pitches they send. Users get booted for spammy, spray-and-pray pitches and, as a result, HARO is somewhat of a safe haven for members of the media.

The lucrative HARO “sponsorship” program that Shankman created is also noteworthy. He places advertisements at the start of each email, which are chock-full of media queries, and the open rates are said (by HARO) to be about 75 percent.

In fact, this business model is so remarkable that, just last week, Shankman announced that his little enterprise had been scooped up by Vocus, a company that provides on-demand software for public relations management and manages the press release distribution service called PRWeb.

We join the industry in congratulating Peter Shankman on this significant accomplishment. According to a Mashable story, he will continue to build the HARO brand with the help of the folks at Vocus and, more importantly, the service will remain free. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for HARO – and continuing to use this fantastic service to supplement our daily PR activities and outreach!