Peter Shankman's Help A Reporter Out list

If you're one of the many PR folk or journalists who read this blog, stop what you're doing right now (unless it's billable stuff for one of my clients, of course :-) and hie thee over to Peter Shankman's awesome HARO service.

In a few short months, Peter has built a list of more than 13,000 subscribers - each of whom is now receiving up to three messages a day with lists of requests and contact info from reporters seeking sources for stories in development.

He's pulling in enquiries from a terrific range of media outlets - from Business Week, to National Geographic, to national and international dailies, to interesting niche-focused blogs and online publications.

The idea is similar, in some ways, to the ProfNet service (disclosure: ProfNet is operated in Canada by my good friends - and great client - CNW Group), but I see what Peter is doing as complementary rather than directly competitive. There's no reason why agencies and reporters wouldn't use both services (and I know some who already do).

Peter's approach is personal, direct, candid, and entertaining - and he takes an active hand in policing the list; mercilessly weeding out any PR folk foolish enough to take advantage of the good karma he's creating. Pitch a reporter on the list with an off-topic or simply lame approach and you should expect to get banned with ruthless speed. Peter has invested his own reputation capital in this thing, and he's not about to let it turn into a spam machine.

Sign up now - it's free and unlimited, and - much like ProfNet - a terrific source of ideas and opportunities for the smart flack.