The (Non) Phone Call from ProfNet That Jump-Started HARO 8

Over the past 1-2 years, ProfNet (a service from PRNewswire) has found itself overtaken by HARO (Help A Reporter Out), Peter Shankman’s brainchild. While both sites offer the same product (a platform for reporters to find sources and PR companies / individuals to receive some publicity), HARO has seen tremendous growth over the past couple years, and how has over 100,000 subscribers and a significant revenue stream.

Yesterday Shankman was in Boston for a PRSA event, and shared an interesting piece of information about how HARO came to be. While his service was still a Facebook group with a small group of members back in its early days, ProfNet placed a call to him, wanting him to stay clear of their businesses. Shankman suggested meeting in person to discuss their differences, and told them to call and arrange a time to meet.

At the time, Shankman insists that he had every intention of providing them a lit of his members that they could add onto their subscriber list (which comes with a fee). However, no one ever called him to arrange a meeting, and a few weeks later he decided to build out a Web site for HARO and draw in the masses.

The rest of this story is history, as Shankman’s free service has trumped ProfNet, which is still very much in existence but has certainly taken the backseat.

Editor’s note: ProfNet was contacted for this story but has not offered a comment.

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