A bit of backstory: I signed up for http://www.helpareporter.com/ back when it was a huge mailing list sending out tons of PR requests every day. I liked the service, but got tired of digging through 200 requests every day, so I built 95% of this awhile back. A couple days ago, I decided to finish it up and launch it.
Unfortunately, I took a look at HARO today and they've apparently launched something very similar, rather than just the old mailing list that I was competing against. So what do you think of this? Should I just drop it or should I add features to make it more valuable? Alternatively, is there something else I could use it for?
I had the exact same idea a while back as well. Jotted down some rough notes, came up with a name for it, ran it past a couple of journalist friends. It has merit but it's the usual chicken and egg problem.
Perhaps come up with something niche or location specific (or white labelled so it could be run out as niche/location oriented by someone else) and try a focused launch.
Another option, and this would be easier if you started min-viable-product-style with a few niches, is if you listed some "experts" then ran it past them (explain the idea and that you've added them, but can remove them if they like - make it very personal rather than spammy) and then pitch it to journalists and bloggers once there are some experts listed.
I would say if you had launched this 3 weeks ago, I'd deem you kind of the hill. But in light of HARO's relaunch, I think I'd drop/halt development until you decide what features make you different & better than the new incarnation of HARO.
As far as "something else I could use it for", what if you opened it up a bit and let people create their own lists? Then communities (both physical and virtual) could spawn their own lists and people of all walks of life could assume the role of journalist and/or source.