Both yesterday and today, a startup took a big, expensive (for a startup anyway) step and purchased an ad in the Help-a-reporter out (HARO) newsletter. I like the idea of the website — a giveaway website devoted to promoting a single product every day. Like the “I wear your T-shirt” guy(s), the site would attract eyeballs, build a following and promote sponsored products out to a general audience. Since many of the HARO readers are marketing people and small businesses, seems like a good match. One problem…
When you click through to the website, you are greeted with “There are no sponsors today.” And there were no sponsors yesterday. “Your promotional video here.”
Take a lesson from Peter Shankman, the founder of HARO; his early “ads” were for charities and animal shelters and friends. Don’t leave the site empty, especially if you are buying thousands of eyeballs. People want to see what it looks like, how it functions and that other people are doing this.
Put your best foot forward.