Connectors, according to Malcolm Gladwell’s definition in The Tipping Point, are people who "bring the world together" because of their extraordinary ability to forge relationships.
By any definition, Peter Shankman—founder of HARO, short for HelpAReporterOut.com—is a super connector. And he is an object lesson in parlaying a natural gift—in his case, schmoozing—into a successful online business.
HARO connects journalists with sources, allowing hardworking media types to meet their deadlines AND giving small businesses the chance to generate great PR. The free service is a win-win, with a third win thrown in for Peter himself in the form of ad revenue. More than 100,000 sources now receive HARO’s thrice-daily email, and some 1200 journalists use it each week.
In the short (approximately 8.5 min.) video clip below, MarketingProfs' own Ann Handley talks with Peter about how HARO came into being, why a HARO email is "the ultimate forwardable email," and what surprised him about those who signed up as sources.
For good measure, Peter also talks about social media tools, the way to integrate them into a firm’s marketing mix, “Muppet-Crazies,” a Web 2.0 washing machine, and—on a personal note—the little-known medical condition ADOS.
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