Press releases aren’t what they used to be. Marketers can’t view them as a vehicle to “get picked up by the Wall Street Journal” and solicit coverage by other mainstream journalists anymore. Social media, direct engagement and curation tools have largely replaced the press release in this avenue. Yet, that doesn’t mean you should turn your back on the press release distribution altogether.
There are still many benefits, as Daryl Willcox, chairman of DWPub, told eConsultancy. He explained that “social media pick-up” and “direct to consumer communications” function well “as part of a concerted, long-term PR or content marketing campaign.” Press releases will always have a place in certain complex industries — like finance and biomedical tech.
These days, the press release services market is quite crowded, making it difficult for marketers to decide where their money is best spent. To choose the best press release company, industry veteran Sarah Skerik recommends focusing on these four questions:
-What websites syndicate your content and will display my news? (Hint: Industry niche matters!)
-How do you measure online distribution? (Hint: Do impressions indicate potential or actual views?)
-Which media do you reach and how? (Hint: Are industry bloggers included?)
-How do you measure media activity and what type of reporting will I receive?
Of course, you’ll also want to consider which press releases receive the most social shares and web traffic referrals. You also only want to pay for the level of distribution you need, so the pricing structure will obviously matter as well.
In our experience, here are eight companies offering the best press release distribution services (along with a few free companies to consider as well!)
Best Press Release Distribution Sites
If you’ve got some capital to spend, the eight widely lauded top press release sites include:
PR Wire Pro offers press release distribution and online marketing services. They provide press release writing, distribution, design, development and marketing solutions. Submit your news article directly to the Associated Press, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliated news networks and over 250 sites with PR Wire Pro Distribution. Submit your press through their website or download the WordPress plugin. Submission to top sites including national, regional, local, trade and industry, and international news networks. Visit PR Wire Pro today to learn more.
ReleaseWire is our “go to” press release distribution service. We like ReleaseWire because it’s affordable, easy to use and has great reach. It also functions well for clients in a number of different industries.
PR Newswire is the oldest (more than 60 years old) and largest (200,000 distribution points) press release company — but also the most expensive. Some say their Account Manager turnover is high and customer service is little to be desired, although they themselves say they have won “more than 20 awards” for serving customers with professionalism. Even so, they’re still highly recommended by most analysts, especially when it comes to B2C business. The pricing structure can be a bit confusing but ranges from $545 for local distribution beyond $2,000 for national coverage.
BusinessWire, a large but progressive site, has a partnership with PR Web that serves smaller B2B companies and startups well. For $399, you can get distribution on both PR Web and BusinessWire’s US 1 network. They offer good geographic control over distribution markets, multimedia integration, and results tracking as well. As BIGfish Communications puts it: “With more than 92,000 subscribing journalists and a distribution that goes out to more than 89,000 media outlets, your release is very likely to be seen by a relevant reporter and syndicated in top outlets.”
If you need SEO on a budget, you’ll find more basic reports and decent local pickup with Marketwired. Their Account Reps are reportedly friendly and their rates are more competitive than PR Newswire and BusinessWire, making it a decent buy for IT industry and local market releases, You can score press release distribution for as little as $150 entry-level.
This network is ideal for publicly traded corporations and releases focusing on business growth or investing news. Pricing ranges from $150 to $560, so it’s a more budget-conscious option that still gives you access to industry-standard tools, multimedia integration capability, mobile optimization and reports.
At least one press release services review insinuates that many bloggers and journalists check out the site, particularly the iReach service. With eReleases, you’re guaranteed appearance on at least 100 websites with its Newsmaker service. They employ legit editors, rather than simply skimming through for a misspelled word, and boast a 94% delivery rate (not just bragging about where your release has been submitted.) Plans range from $249 to $499.
A crowdsourced report from G2 Crowd found that Cision ranked highest among the best press release distribution networks for customer satisfaction. One professional explained that Cision “makes vital information for PR professionals easily accessible” — so it’s easy to keep contact information, preferences and outlet information organized in one place. Added perks include free webinars and permanent archiving. Analytics data is another strong suit for Cision’s press release service. However, with a price starting at $5,700 annually, Cision is one of the more expensive newswires out there.
Many marketers want to know: “Are free press release services worth using?” Smart Insightslooked into this query and found a few points worth mentioning that could sway your decision. First, only 5 percent of free press release sites can get you featured in Google News. Secondly, only half of the free press release distribution networks were ranked in Google Search. Thirdly, less than a third of the sites generated inbound links. That said, you’re still welcome to give it a whirl.
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Some of the best free press release distribution sites include:
Need Help With Press Release Writing & Distribution?
Mod Girl Marketing staffs an experienced team of press release writers and marketers skilled in submitting and distributing your news to the world. We find that many companies want access to a news wire when they have something to say, but don’t necessarily need more than, say, one press release announcement each month. So, in that case, why pay for premium distribution services when you can access these same networks through our marketing firm for FAR LESS? Contact digital marketing consultant Mandy McEwen to discuss your options.