Do Online Press Release Distributors Work?


Online Press Release Services

This morning one of my blog readers, a budding PR/Marketing consultant asked a question about the value of online PR services.  I thought it appropriate to blog my response as others might be struggling with the same question.

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“Have a quick question for you.  I have heard conflicting stories on the many newswire services (like PRWeb, etc.).  What are your thoughts on these online resources?” I am slowly starting up my own marketing / pr company (with an emphasis on ‘slowly’) and have been contracted to do a news release for a local agritourism destination in the Gaston County area.

My Response: 

The first thing I suggest is subscribing to Joan Stewart’s (the Publicity Hound) blog at  Joan is arguably the best resource on the web for PR tactics, strategy and information and by following her blog/newsletter you will have all the information you will ever needed to be successful.
My opinion regarding online release distribution services is that the qualified services are great tools for getting your or your client’s message to the media and directly to end customers. These services help you:

  1. Attract search engines to the target site (be sure to include relevant keywords and properly formatted urls so the search engine is first attracted and second, links over to the target site and spiders it).
  2. Entice prospecitve customers to visit sites directly.  I for one have stumbled upon a number of companies as a result of their online press releases.
  3. Multimedia:  Much better than their paper or email counterparts at packaging multimedia (photos, audio and video) within the body of the release.  Adding video to the release enables you to “show” how the pitch can be relevant to an audience.  Also video enabled releases have a much higher clickthrough rate than standard copy alone.
  4. Ancilary features:  The good distribution services offer some useful ancilary features like search engine optimization (SEO), blog distribution (which few pr firms consider), social bookmarketing (stumble upon, delicious, digg, etc. linking) and reporting (visitor, visit and link click reporting).

Try getting all of that from a fax or even email press release.  The reporting alone is worth the freight.

Related Topics:

  1. How to Get In the Charlotte Observer
  2. To Get More Customers Follow This Rule
  3. The Power of Your Press
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5 Responses to “Do Online Press Release Distributors Work?”

  1. Steve Says:

    I’ve always had good results with PRWeb. I particularly like the client console feature, where you can access statistics of multiple news releases. It’s very helpful to be able to see how many people are reading, downloading or printing your release for possible use. The premium service also provides you good headline impressions statistics, including number of times, the release headline was displayed on a PRWEb site, displayed via RSS or XML, and displayed on 3rd party site via Javascript. Much more, of course. PRweb used to be a free service, but they now have four standard packages ranging from $80 to $360. I’ve found the two least expensive options work very well for my clients and my own promotional efforts.

  2. Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound Says:

    John, you’ve listed some terrific reasons why people should be writing and posting press releases online. And the logos you chose for the top of this blog item, Expertclick and PRWeb, happen to be my two favorite press release distribution services.

    A few things worth noting:

    –You can write your own releases or, for a higher fee, have these services write them for you. But why pay somebody else when you can do it yourself? Check out my free tutorial “89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases.” It’s an intensive email course that will teach more about how to write and distribute press releases online than any other course could. Opt in at

    –The question “Do these services work?” depends entirely on the quality of release and, particularly, whether the release is optimized for the search engines. My course shows you how to do that.

    –There are a zillion free press release distribution services out there. But what most people don’t know is that these services don’t “distribute” anything. They simply park your press release at their site, to be found—or not—by the seqarch engines.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Eshe Glover Says:

    Online press release distributors are generally effective in helping you secure exposure for your release but exposure isn’t always directly convertible into coverage. Your release has to be well-written and timely, and of interest to those receiving it. I use online distributors often, but these services should not replace the customized pitch and the relationships built and nurtured with media professionals. I’m most familiar and satisfied with PRWeb and definitely encourage you to give it a try. A well-written, timely press release that is distributed via an online service should help you achieve the results you desire.

  4. Ben Says:

    Thank you for the great advice re: online news releases. It’s my first foray into the world of pr and marketing. I don’t feel as overwhelmed as I did a few days ago! Thank you for your valuable feedback!

  5. John Easton Says:


    The advice you collectively provided is, well, awesome! It seams that everyone is in agreement that your pr pitch success is driven by the quality of the release itself, not as much by the distribution method.

    That said Ben, I would suggest viewing the recent Broadcast Charlotte video, “How to get into the Charlotte Observer’s business section” where Business Editor, Patrick Scott tells us what he is looking for (link below).


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