Press Release Distribution: Considering the Options
Press Release Distribution: Considering the Options
One of the components we take into account when creating top-quality press releases
for our clients is distribution. That’s why we provide local distribution to media outlets
in your area, generally limited to 100 sources.
However, for most of our clients, there is a desire to reach beyond the local media and
seek broader distribution on a regional or national level. The purpose of this white
paper is to provide some information on the three general ways in which releases can
For our purposes, we will speak to two different distribution practices: distribution to
online media outlets and distribution to the traditional media.
Note: ProPRcopy and its parent company have no formal connection to any of the
distribution outlets listed here, unless otherwise specified. While we are often asked to
make recommendations, and sometimes distribute releases on our clients’ behalf, we
do not receive money for these services beyond the handling fees associated with
distribution. In this way, our advice is unbiased.
What is Your Purpose?
There are generally two reasons for distributing a press release. Due to the fact that
online distribution tends to fall into one of two camps, the purpose of the news release
is critically important from the start.
Search engine optimization
For many of our clients, the purpose of creating and distributing a press release is for
search engine optimization, or SEO. To be very brief, SEO is the practice of improving
the search results of a particular website or blog for a specific set of search terms.
These strategies are critical for most organizations’ online marketing efforts.
While detailing all of the best SEO practices far exceeds what can be explained in this
paper, it’s important to note that proper distribution of press releases can help to
improve search engine rankings.
When well-written press releases are distributed to online news sources, they provide a
number of "back links" to your site. Because the algorithms used to determine search
engine placement uses the number of back links to determine where a site should be
listed, a press release that is included on a number of sites can considerably improve
your site's listing.
As a result, we have worked with thousands of businesses that have contacted us to
write and help them distribute press releases with the expressed purpose of enhancing
their SEO, with no realistic intention of ever seeing their article in print.
The other purpose for creating and distribution a press release is to have an article run
in a traditional media outlet, such as in a newspaper or part of a radio or television
newscast. Many businesses that have an offline presence in addition to their website,
such as a retail store or a geographically based offline service provider, prefer this
Select Your Distribution Method
Based on the purpose, there are several options to meet your needs. Although there
are a number of "free" distribution tools on the web, our experience suggests that the
current free distribution sites are not worth the time. The following is a review of the
most common distribution options:
SBWire is one of the fastest-growing and most effective distribution services available,
with rates starting at just $19.95 for its standard Online Distribution service. With this
option, you receive full search engine optimization and can include links, images, audio
and video. You also get submission to major search engines like Google and Bing, as
well as distribution via RSS and Atom news feeds.
SBWire also provides a number of advanced features available for additional fees.
SBWire Direct is available for $39.95, providing all of the features of Online Distribution
and adding email distribution to journalists in five targeted media markets and five
If you would like to distribute a high volume of press releases per month, SBWire offers
a number of subscriptions, ranging from $50 to $100 per month. While each has
slightly different options and benefits, they all provide at least one free release per day,
along with add-on services available for reduced rates.
SBWire has come into its own over the past couple years to compete directly with
more established distribution providers like PRWeb and PR Newswire (see below). In
fact, the results SBWire is able to achieve are similar to those that come from more
expensive press release distribution services.
ProPRcopy highly recommends SBWire for press release distribution due to its
effectiveness and affordable pricing. We regularly distribute press releases we write for
clients through SBWire as a courtesy. Thus, you can receive a professionally written
press release with Online Distribution through SBWire for just $119.
PRWeb is a very popular distribution tool starting at $99. It is important to note that it
uses RSS (real simple syndication) feeds to distribute news releases. From a practical
standpoint, this service is a fairly affordable option for online distribution for SEO
The PRWeb pricing model, however, has long caused headaches for us and our clients.
PRWeb distribution begins at $99 and includes distribution by basic text. For the
significant jump to $159 or $249, PRWeb offers additional services, including wider
distribution through specific "channels," though these channels are not always clearly
The simple fact is that if you are interested in ensuring that your releases include
keyword anchor text, URL keywords and embedded news images, the $249 option
might make sense. Otherwise, the $99 option is a relatively inexpensive one that, along
with the targeted distribution that comes free with a ProPRcopy-created release, may
PRWeb also has a $369 and $499 options that allow you to upload a video and
distribute it to the Associated Press. Our experience with this has made us question the
up-sell, and therefore we rarely recommend it.
We have been using PRWeb for years. Despite the sometimes-confusing pricing
structure, it is very effective, especially for those seeking help with SEO.
While PRWeb is the tool of choice for those seeking online distribution, PR Newswire is
the option used by most businesses and organizations to connect with traditional
reporters and media outlets, many of which also publish online.
PR Newswire is a cornerstone of more than 5,500 newsrooms in the major media
markets and beyond. In addition, PR Newswire for Journalists (PR Newswire's exclusive
media-only web site), is a trusted source of news and information for journalists and
bloggers from more than 27,000 media organizations around the world.
We use PR Newswire's national distribution channel, called US1, which delivers releases
to thousands of reporters and websites across the country. It is a very good service, but
is also quite pricey. A 400-word release distributed through PR Newswire’s US1 will
cost you $749.
PR Newswire also allows you to target your distribution to specific industry circuits,
including "fashion" and "education" for the same prices. We have used PR Newswire
to distribute releases to specific states and regions. Sending a 400-word release to a
single state runs $290.
As with PRWeb, we have had good experiences with PR Newswire, both for SEO
purposes and to connect with real reporters who write real news stories. However,
US1’s cost may be prohibitively expensive for many. Also, unlike PRWeb, PR Newswire
requires a membership fee.
The Bottom Line
SBWire, PRWeb and PR Newswire are all reputable services that will distribute your
release in a timely and professional manner. They also have very good customer
If your intention is to create and distribute a news release solely for SEO purposes and
your budget is limited, SBWire and PRWeb are good options, especially coupled with
the free local distribution provided by ProPRcopy. We recommend SBWire Direct
($39.95) and PRWeb Standard ($159) if you choose to go with either of these providers.
If you want to get the most exposure for your press release, especially among the more
traditional media, go with PR Newswire. We have long recommended its US1 news line
for national distribution and have found the SEO that comes from those releases to be
outstanding. At $749, the price is steep, but in many cases we have found it to be well
worth the investment.
ProPRCopy offers fast, affordable and professional copywriting services
for press releases, articles, blog content, website copy and more.
Professional copywriters and editors
Press release distribution services (including free local distribution)
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 a year
Contact us to learn more: