Press Release Distribution – Using Syndication Services
Press releases are a great way to start a conversation about your company and create your own news. Write a compelling story, give the people some actual value, secure coverage in a key media for your target audience, and you will generate more brand exposure than you can believe.
But just because you want to get press coverage, it doesn’t mean that the press wants to cover your business. Reporters want to bring awesome stories to their readers and keep them updated about their interests.
You have to create a story with value, a reason to care that your company even exists. Usually that means giving something away, making a contribution to society, or taking action in the interest of the community. At the very least your product or service should offer substantial value for price, compared to the existing offerings on the market. If you’re just looking for some cheap publicity, it’s not going to work out in your favor.
Stop by our article: Writing a Press Release, where we go over all the details about how to create a press release that’s irresistible to journalists.
Unfortunately, your job doesn’t end here. Even if you crafted the most attractive and irresistible press release, if nobody reads it, all your hard work is pointless.
Unless you’re Apple, JP Morgan, Volkswagen Group or a company of their ranks, there are no swarms of journalists poking through your channels every day, looking for a new story. Even these massive corporations invest a fair bit of money in producing and distributing their press releases.
Everybody else has to work extra hard to find and convince reporters and publishers to cover their news. Often this takes more work than producing the press release altogether, and of course, it’s time sensitive. For the maximum effect, press releases need to get coverage very quickly, while the ink is still fresh. If the story goes stale for a couple of days, you can consider it dead.
What is Press Release Distribution Anyway?
It’s pretty straight forward. After writing and publishing your story, you have to distribute the press release to groups of journalists, editors, and media companies, hoping they would cover the material in their respective publications.
We’re talking about both offline and online media like:
- Industry publications
- TV and radio shows
- Online news websites
- A rich variety of blogs
- Podcasts and video channels (mostly YouTube)
- Internet communities and forums
- Social media
If your press release gets covered in multiple media outlets, your company will be exposed to a substantial amount of viewers and even generate traffic to the website or the store. If the story is successful, a few key placements will prompt other media to also cover the news, creating a snowball effect, growing your exposure exponentially. That’s the end goal anyway.
A well circulated press release can gather a healthy amount of backlinks from reputable websites, which provide long term SEO value and will improve your positions in search engine results pages for your targeted keywords. In fact, it’s a standard practice for PR professionals to incorporate SEO techniques in their press releases to maximize the value for their clients.
If your company has a good value proposition, there’s a decent chance you’ll generate some sales, subscriptions, receive increased foot traffic and form new relationships.
The return of investment can be astronomical, but only if your material is properly distributed and successfully picked up by the media. Otherwise, you might be wasting your time.
Press Release Distribution Services
There are companies like Cision and Muck Rack that specialize in collecting and maintaining vast databases of publishers, editors and journalists that work for all types of media – newspapers, TV and radio shows, industry websites, blogs, etc.
You can pay to have your press release distributed to a few thousand journalists for a hundred or so dollars. Usually, you can target specific industries and locations, so you only send out your material to relevant reporters. You’ll have a dashboard or some reporting system to track the progress of your campaign – how many reporters and outlets received your press release, how much coverage you generated and what estimated reach you achieved.
These PR services can return a huge value. Even if a single outlet covers your company, so long as it has authority in the field, there is a decent chance others will follow, potentially making the story viral for a couple of days.
That said, there’s no guarantee about earning any coverage at all, so you have to keep your expectations realistic. Your press release is going to be delivered to journalists who already receive a stupid amount of emails on a daily basis. The chances of your particular story surfacing is questionable at best and highly dependent on how good your headline is and actual content is.
Of course, PR syndication companies will readily offer you a number of premium packages that will put your story higher up in the batch, or deliver it to a reserved list of contacts. But again, you’re only increasing your chances (at significantly increased price), while not securing definitive results.
7 Top Tier PR Distribution Services
In no particular order, here are some of the most popular and highly regarded PR distribution services on the market.
PR Newswire is one of the oldest and best developed press release distribution services. Owned by Cision, the platform allows you to reach audiences in over 170 countries, speaking more than 40 languages.
Your press release will be delivered to more than 4,000 websites, nearly 3,000 media outlets and more than 550 news content systems, as well as search engines and social media platforms. PR Newswire maintains a massive email list of over 20,000 journalists. No matter the targeting, your press release will reach many thousands of relevant contacts.
Prices start at $100. PR Web is owned by Cision and as such benefits from the company’s vast database of publishers, journalists, editors and media outlets. Specifically, PR Web is designed for online outreach and will give you access to thousands of websites, industry-specific journalists, bloggers, search engines and across social media networks.
All of this comes packaged in a neat dashboard that makes it easy to create, distribute and track media-rich press releases with sophisticated analytics.
Prices start at £50. You get your press release distributed to thousands of journalists and also published on the PR Fire website, as well as submitted to Google, Bing and Yahoo News. Your press release is shared on the PR Fire Twitter and Facebook channels.
There are additional services, which can help you create a better press release and distribute it to additional media outlets. But, you’ll probably get more value out of the basic distribution service.
Prices start at £85. Response Source is one of the leading UK press release distribution services. You can get your press release distributed to thousands of journalists and UK news desks, a customizable newsroom that’s hosted on Response Resource and indexed by all major search engines. There is a performance dashboard and analytics for your campaigns.
Numerous bundle packages and extra services are available to help you reach bigger or more targeted audiences. The Media Contacts Database is an invaluable resource for your outreach campaign.
Prices starting at $250. Presswire’s online syndication service seeds your press release in 400+ respected news sites & Google News and a live list of over 1,000,000 journalists and publishers, all separated into more than 140 segments to give you a very precise targeting.
Business Wire is one of the leading services with more than 60 years in the market. The network reaches over 100,000 media outlets, across 219 industry and trade categories in 165 countries targetable on national, regional, state or city level. Press releases are delivered to busiest newsrooms like Associated Press, Dow Jones, Thomson Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg and dozens more.
Linking News is one of the biggest PR networks in the world and highly regarded by PR specialists. The company boasts a massive database, including some 90 million influencers, 900,000 journalists, and 330,000 publications. Pricing starts at $159 which will get your press release published on 100+ sites, including the ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS network. The Gold Plan worth $1,680 will get you published on 600+ sites, all previously mentioned plus Bloomberg, Benzinga, Street Insider, MarketWatch, 6 international Yahoo sites, and many international sites, such as Asahi.
43 more PR syndication companies
- 24-7 Press Release
- Easy Newswire
- EIN Presswire
- Exact Release
- Express Press Release Distribution
- Free Press Release
- Market Press Release
- Newswire Today
- PR Distribution
- PR Log
- PR Underground
- PR Urgent News
- PR Wire Pro
- Pressbox (UK)
- The Open Press
Choosing a PR Distribution Service
There’s a huge abundance of PR distribution services to choose from. How do you make the right decision for your business?
While it’s tempting to go for the company that boats a gazillion contacts, major newsrooms, huge social media accounts and vast network of sites that are going to publish the story, this won’t necessarily generate the biggest return, especially considering the price is going way up if you want to get everything bundled.
You need to look into your own target audience and try to match up with a service that covers your prime customers. You can likely reach 80% of your audience, by getting coverage on 20% of the relevant media outlets, so make sure the PR service you choose can get you access to those key publications.
What coverage do you need?
Earned media coverage, online visibility, search optimization, brand engagement on social media? All of them at the same time?
Choose a service that can put your press release on the platforms you need. For example big international news agencies – United Press International, Associated Press, Bloomberg Dow Jones, Thomson Reuters, Agence France-Presse, etc. However, if these agencies do nothing for your local niche effort, don’t let the selling points distract you from the lack of valuable opportunities for your specific business.
If you’re going for digital, look for the main web outlets in your field – BuzzFeed, Mashable, TechCrunch, Car and Driver, Business Insider, etc.
If you’re going for social media, typically there are other strategies that will yield better results than a press release. That said, still make sure the release is set up to go viral on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Tik Tok, whatever your customers are using.
Very few distribution services will give you the best out of everything (at bargain price), so you’ll have to weigh out the options and make compromises, based on your needs.
Are you targeting audiences on a national, regional or city level?
The PR distribution company you work with needs to have contacts in the exact areas you’re looking to gain exposure. Do you need CNN, Wall Street Journal, Palm Beach Post or Chatfield News?
Do you operate globally with an international multi-cultural, multilingual audience?
Make sure your PR syndication service has the capabilities to distribute your content across borders and language barriers.
Is your company working in a wide industry or a small niche?
You don’t care if they have 100,000,000 contacts in their list, when there’s only a handful of relevant journalists that cover your specific niche business. It makes an enormous difference whether you’re an offshore energy company, UK dance music brand, european travel agency, bakery in Charleston, South Carolina, or a machine parts manufacturer in Louisiana. Not all PR distribution companies are equally suited for your needs.
Is customizable, interactive and multimedia-rich content important to you?
Work with a service that has advanced formatting and media features and allows you to style your press release just the way you want it. If you’re using marketing and PR analytics software, try to find a PR syndication that has compatibility with your setup, so you can quickly analyse and report your efforts.
Bite the Bullet
In the end, acknowledge that you can’t ensure every press release will be a blast and publications will be crawling on their knees begging to publish the story.
There are certainly better and worse PR syndication companies. But they can only be as good as your story in the first place. The fees most PR syndication companies are charging are pretty affordable, and the press release itself can cost next to nothing if you write it yourself and there’s no major marketing campaign behind it. You can afford to test some of them out and even mix and match different services, depending on your needs.
Also, consider that no matter how good your PR distribution service is, automated broadcasts can hardly reach the effectiveness of good personal outreach. In order to realize the best opportunities, you still need to roll up your sleeves, outline a kick ass outreach strategy, do your research and make some good old fashioned media pitches.