5 Services Matching Reporters with Expert Sources

by October 17, 2017
Niche source-finding services can match reporters with relevant professor, financial advisors and others (Image via Pexels user breakingic CC0 License)

Niche services can match reporters with relevant professors, financial advisors and other expert sources. (Image via Pexels user Breakingic CC0 License)

Many journalists use services like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and Profnet to track down experts or real-people sources. But these large, general-interest services have their shortcomings, as Erik Sherman pointed out in his post on sourcing services.

HARO and Profnet aren’t the only games in town. Services that help match reporters with experts exist in many niche fields—including finance—and can help weed out publicity seekers irrelevant to your needs. One downside to consider: These smaller services don’t always mask your email address the way HARO does. That may not be a huge concern, as zealous publicists and professional sources make pretty quick work of locating any journalist’s contact info.

Here are five specialized platforms that can help you locate your next interview subject.

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

If you need a financial advisor to discuss topics such as elder care, wealth management or student loans, NAPFA may be able to help. It advocates for fee-only financial planners, and its newsroom includes instructions on emailing requests, which will be shared with members. Interested advisors then email reporters directly.

Financial Planning Association

FPA is the main professional association for certified financial planners (CFPs). A form on its website lets journalists submit media requests and receive responses from members. Unlike some services, FPA does not share journalists’ email addresses with members.

XY Planning Network

Need to interview an expert on money topics for Gen X or Gen Y? YX Planning Network is an organization of fee-only financial advisors who serve this demographic, and its media room allows journalists to submit queries that are emailed to members. Like NAPFA, members email responses directly to the journalist.

Women’s Media Center SheSource

Male experts are more often quoted in the media. The Women’s Media Center aims to change that with SheSource, its service for journalists seeking female experts on a variety of topics. Journalists sign up for email updates on sources relevant to current events or search SheSource’s database by keyword, location or area of expertise. The experts tend to skew more towards current events and political issues rather than evergreen topics.

ExpertiseFinder

ExpertiseFinder lists over 30,000 experts (mainly professors) in the U.S. and Canada. Search by expertise or geography and then contact the expert directly. (Most profiles contain a university email address and phone number.) If you’re looking for a specific type of academic expertise—for instance, an expert in cybersecurity with a particular interest in computer security and voting—this website can help you narrow your search. And unlike bigger, more general source services, you likely won’t get pitches from bloggers or those promoting a self-published book.