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By the time you are reading this you probably work in the public relations field or have a general understanding of digital PR. SourceBottle, much like HARO, is a PR platform originally based in Australia that offers media opportunities from a variety of online platforms like blogs to websites.
Whether you are a marketing expert, content writer, blogger or web journalist, there is a lot to be gained from using SourceBottle either for your client or your own content.
How it works
The first time I signed up for it I realized that the process was very easy and quick. When you first go onto the SourceBottle website, you will notice a very basic easy-to-use layout that gives you all the guidance you need.
From the different signup options to the process manual, and the subscription pricing: everything is easy and accessible. Another option you will find on the home page is listed experts; these are sources that pay a subscription to be pitched automatically as sources of specific information.
If you are a PR expert or marketing manager and you are hoping to get emails with queries and media requests from journalists, bloggers, or editors, then you are a source. Signing up as a source means you will get a list of these queries and media requests that you can comb through to find the appropriate media opportunities.
The process for signing up as a source is really easy!
First of all, there are two different accounts you can have as a source: the free subscription enables you to receive queries and media opportunities about all the topics that pass through the site.
The information they require from you in this subscription package is very basic as you can see below.
The information they ask for is your name and email address. Not forgetting their terms and conditions that you’re probably not gonna read through, haha.
Once you fill in the necessary information, you can then pick specifics from a wide selection of “call-out” topics that suit your expertise the most.
Deciphering HARO Emails
Over time, your inbox will be flooded with HARO emails. Take a look at mine:
There are eleven main call-out topics that you can choose from (or you can select all to increase your chances):
- Business and finance
- This topic is self-explanatory. You’ll be receiving queries for all things business, like stocks, marketing, entrepreneurship, accounting – You get the idea. Although this particular topic is not a very frequent call-out query – so just keep that in mind.
- This topic has to do a lot with environmental topics like global warming and conservation. But it can also encompass specific environmental science topics like earth systems, energy, and biology.
- This topic can be about literally anything. And when I say ‘anything’ I mean anything! You’ll encounter a wide range of topics from pets and hobbies to very personal queries. So be wary of this particular topic if you are using the site for professional purposes only.
- Health and Wellbeing
- These topics will mainly be about trends in healthy eating and exercise routines. You’ll also find a good number of queries that ask about personal experiences if you are representing a company you might not want to select this topic.
- Lifestyle, Food, and Fashion
- This topic is best suited for clients who like general lifestyle trends. For example, a social media influencer would be best suited for this category. Most of the queries under this topic focus on all kinds of hot trends that started on social media and require opinionated answers.
- Parenting and Education
- Here is another self-explanatory topic that focuses on all things parents and their children. This topic will flood your email with tons of queries about advice on learning and parenting methods that work best so make sure you keep that in mind.
- PR, Media and Marketing
- This topic is centered around allowing PR specialists and other people in the marketing and media industry to place a pitch that is mainly about their client or the business they are representing rather than about them answering a query. So a lot of the time, this callout will ask for expert experience on a generalized media topic. Seems like the perfect topic, right? It would be if there were many queries that came through but there are a handful that’ll come in every week.
- Professional Services
- This topic is mainly about the service industry. So if you or your client has a service business then you will get queries about the improvement of processes and profits margins. It’s more or less like the business and finance topic but it mainly focuses on service-based businesses. You also won’t get many of these though.
- This topic mainly covers Real-Estate and land ownership.
- Here you’ll mainly be asked about technological advancements that are going on around us and how they apply to our lives or our businesses. This topic shows up once a week so don’t look forward to maximizing on these.
- Travel and Leisure
- Although this topic is a good platform for people in hospitality and entertainment.
Filtering through Sourcebottle queries
Each Sourcebottle email will have an average of 20 queries related to the topics you chose.
The major issue though is that in every email you’ll receive at least two ads. (But you can avoid this by paying a subscription). Opting for a paid subscription is more valuable with Source Bottle because you won’t have to filter through emails at all with an expert profile, you’ll just receive emails that are completely relevant to your level of expertise – the topics in your expertise description can be altered at any point in time.
You’re going to have to label these emails though because they will be classified as promotions by your email service especially if you haven’t paid a subscription. But even if you have paid, it is still wise to label them to bring some order to your email inbox.
Some things to Remember:
- SourceBottle requests usually show up through the day at very random times. But a plus is that you can identify your time zone when you are signing up which will ensure that all your emails come at reasonable hours of the day instead of following the origin country timezone which would have you receiving emails at odd times.
- Most of the time, the deadlines for the query responses are pretty close. So you need to make sure you keep tabs on deadlines while you are working on pitches.
When you decide on a particular query and are ready to pitch, SourceBottle has a very quick and easy way to send in your pitch without having to compose a whole new email.
Once you click on the linked topic heading, the link will take you to the SourceBottle website where you’ll see the topic you have chosen displayed in a more clear and categorized format than the email:
Then at the bottom of that same page, you will see a fill-in form where you can fill in the necessary information which includes the pitch itself and your contact information.
After filling in the necessary information, your pitch will be forwarded to the media person’s unique source bottle email – and that’s it! You are done sending that pitch. Easy- peezy right!?
Well, does Sourcebottle meet your criteria?
I believe this is such a relative question because it depends on what kind of marketing and PR content you are looking for. This site focuses more on the interpersonal side of things so a lot of the query topics are very subjective and are looking for case studies and personal experiences – that sort of stuff.
So it all comes down to knowing what you want to gain and achieve versus what SourceBottle offers; this will help you determine whether it’s a good match for you.
I must say though, you have to cross-check the kind of Publications that post queries on SourceBottle because a lot of them have a strictly Australian audience. So if that’s not your target audience, save yourself the time and effort.