In the past few years, services that let you publish your news “to the web” have emerged. The web has made it possible for anyone – not just journalists – to read what is sent via these content services. And that’s a good thing, because it means you might be able to get your news directly to its intended audience without going through a traditional media “gatekeeper.”
Here are three services – and one bonus service for the hyper-local among us – you should consider if you need a low- or even no-cost alternative to a traditional wire service.
Best asset: Directly targets media people who opt to receive releases via Vocus, the media database service.
- For the cash-strapped, PRWeb’s basic package – which sends your release to search engines and news websites – is reasonable
- You can choose industries and regions you want to reach.
- You may add photos, links and other attachments, plus social-media sharing buttons.
- The site has a higher rate of unique page views per month (1M) than the traditional service Marketwire (124k), which costs much more (Source: Compete).
- It’s not a traditional newswire, so PRWeb might still carry less credibility than one of the big three: BusinessWire, PRNewswire and Marketwire. Therefore, your release might be somewhat less likely to be picked up by mainstream media.
- The site chooses a default date and time for distribution, usually 24-48 hours after you click “submit.” If you’re getting out your news at the last minute and can’t afford to wait, be aware that you can choose another date and time.
Best asset: All you can eat. Service allows you to post all the multimedia-rich (or not) releases you like for one low price, and publish them to search engines and social media sites.
- Low pricing
- Releases are indexed on search engines, including Yahoo News and Google News
- Multimedia (videos, photos) included in the price
- Easy social media sharing, and you can pre-write the Twitter post
- Goes “direct” to readers; often picked up by blogs
- Optimized for mobile devices
- Not a newswire
- Unlikely to be picked up by mainstream media
- No targeting to specific industries
- No direct-to-journalists delivery
- Unique page views per month are in the 30,000 range. By comparison, PRWeb’s rate of unique page views per month is about 1 million. (Source: Compete)
Best asset: Distribute your release for free.
If you have absolutely no promotions budget, sign up at the entry level and distribute a text-only, ad-supported press release via PR.Com. The service will publish your release to general search engines (sorry, not Google), to a limited number of news and “other 3rd-party” websites, and to RSS feeds.
- At the free level, you are allowed – required, actually – to choose one of the vertical markets on the PR.com list that best fits the subject of your release. Targeting is a good thing.
- Any upgrades – such as live links, regional targeting, web hosting, images, etc. – are completely a la carte. So if you aren’t totally broke, you can, for example, remove the ads for a mere $10 per release.
- For a yearly fee, the site can do a lot more than issue news releases. You can create a full organization profile with product and service listings and job postings. And, as long as you use their domain (i.e., Business.PR.com/CompanyName), they’ll even give you web hosting.
- The website looks like a kitchen sink – it’s got everything thrown in. It calls itself a business community. We’d call it an online directory with some “extras.” If that’s what you’re looking for, fine. As a press release distribution site, though, it’s not as appealing and accessible to the reader, in our opinion, as PRWeb and Pitch Engine.
- Its unique page views per month are on par with Pitch Engine.
If you run a local business or organization, consider:
Best asset: An inexpensive, easy way to reach local and regional media, State Newswire gives you one free statewide or local press release every other month.
- Very inexpensive – You can send your business release for $25
- No need to subscribe
- $25 will send your release to publications within 35 or 50 miles of your locale
- Can send multimedia assets (e.g., photos) at no additional charge
- Offers discounts on multiple releases or months
- Fairly new offering
- Still signing up publications to receive feeds
- No trade publications