Press Release Distribution: Top 11 Services + 4 Mistakes to Avoid
To thrive as a small business, you need press coverage. But, unfortunately, coverage doesn’t just come naturally – you need to work for it.
If you‘re a business owner, you probably found this article because you want to learn how to send a press release that will boost your brand’s visibility and generate press coverage.
Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn how to create, pitch, and distribute a press release for optimal brand awareness.
What is press release distribution?
Press release distribution is the act of circulating your press release to various outlets, such as journalists, publishers, and press members.
Your press release should include the latest updates on your company, its products/services, partnerships, projects, and more.
The recipients of your press release will then share or publish your information to the public to help you reach a wider audience.
Why should you submit a press release?
A well-crafted and -distributed press release will expose your brand to new audiences and boost visibility by featuring your information in podcasts, blogs, radio and TV broadcasts, and newspapers.
If you only post your press release on your website, most consumers won’t know about it – which defeats the entire purpose behind writing it.
Press coverage helps get your business or brand name into the public forum. That helps build brand awareness. In fact, 68% of businesses report boosted visibility after publishing press releases.
Distributing a press release also has these benefits:
1. Press releases can boost your SEO.
Over 8.5 billion Google searches are made every day.
Implementing SEO tactics into your overall marketing strategy will help you rank high for your target audience‘s search queries.
This means you’re closer to reaching potential customers as they search online for information about your company, industry, product, or service.
Gaining backlinks to your site from high-authority websites is a huge ranking factor for SEO, as explained in a 2021 study by Backlinko:
As I said, distributing press releases can help you land coverage in huge publications. Additionally, those websites will link to yours, which can help boost your search engine visibility.
2. A press release can drive local foot traffic to your store.
If your business is a brick-and-mortar shop, press release distributions can help to get people through the door.
Whether running an event or launching an eye-catching sale, measuring foot traffic into your store after distributing a press release is a simple way to gauge your release’s success.
3. A press release can generate more sales.
If you‘re launching a new product or an exclusive line, a targeted press release can significantly impact your bottom line. Why? Because it helps drum up interest if it’s innovative and sets you apart from competitors.
Busy shopping days can be a great way to get your products in front of potential customers.
For instance, if you’re offering discounts on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, why not contact retail journalists to highlight your offers?
Should you use press release distribution services?
A press release distribution service is an excellent solution if you’re on a tight schedule and have little time to manually reach out to local or national publishers.
These services allow you to send your release to relevant journalists without doing any manual work yourself.
So, if you fancy taking distribution off your plate, check out these 12 services.
Newswire is one of the top distribution service providers available in the market. When using a top-rate company, your press release can reach significant news outlets like NBC, MarketWatch, and NBC.
Newswire also offers multitarget layering to reach your desired audience at the local, state, and regional levels.
Furthermore, the service provider follows a strict editorial process to ensure your press release is error-free when it reaches consumers.
Pricing: Starts at $349 for the news digital plan and goes up to five figures based on the number of press releases you want and the industries you’re targeting.
Best For: Businesses looking to branch beyond the local market and into a much broader national audience.
With a media database of over 1.7 million contacts, eRelease is a distribution service you should consider.
The brand has nurtured relationships with publishers, including influencers and reporters, for over 20 years and promises to include curated emails to increase engagement.
In addition, eReleases optimizes your press release using white hat SEO practices to increase its chances of ranking on search engines.
Pricing: Starts at $399.
What We Like: Users can expect a detailed report with engagement, audience, and traffic metrics after distribution.
EIN Presswire is a leading distribution service with affordable pricing.
With one of the quickest review processes, EIN Presswire only takes about an hour to approve your release during the regular weekday hours. Once your release is distributed, you will gain access to a dashboard that will start populating after two hours.
In addition, EIN Presswire is a high authority website through which you can earn backlinks and reap the benefits on search engines.
Pricing: Starts at $99.95 per release and goes up to $999 for bundles.
What We Like: EIN Presswire is budget-friendly and a quick solution for small businesses.
Meltwater offers a Press Release Distribution Service as part of its media intelligence and PR solutions suite. This service allows businesses to distribute press releases to media outlets, journalists, bloggers, and other relevant stakeholders.
Meltwater features established partnerships with a vast network of media outlets but still allows businesses to target specific regions.
Meltwater’s Press Release Distribution Service is often integrated with its media database, which contains information on journalists, editors, and media contacts.
Pricing: Book a demo for pricing
What We Like: Meltwater provides tools and templates to help businesses format their press releases effectively and offers analytics and reporting features that allow companies to track the performance of their press releases.
PR Distribution provides distribution services in both the U.S. and the U.K.
Every other package offers an unlimited word count, a multi-tiered editing process, and access to ABC, NBC, and other news outlets.
Pricing: Starts at $99 and reaches up to $1,300 for bundle packages.
What We Like: Their starter press release package guarantees 25 placements, ensuring your story will be seen by your target audience.
6. PR Newswire
PR Newswire is an excellent option whether you’re looking for print or online distribution.
PR Newswire helps connect you to leading publishers in various industries.
Furthermore, PR Newswire has a network of over 4,000 websites and 20,000 email subscribers. With a host of distribution channels, it’s up to you to decide which will work best for your brand.
Pricing: Not published on their website.
Best For: This provider covers you if you want accurate data on your release’s performance. You can monitor and measure the impact of your story and gain insights for future releases.
24-7 Press Release uses a cloud-based algorithm to distribute your news to traditional and digital outlets.
24-7 Press Release follows a strict review process to ensure your press release is ready to be distributed and follows their guidelines.
With a two-day turnaround time, their starter pack allows you to include up to five industry categories, four images, or documents and be sent to over 50 premium news sites.
In addition, you’ll receive a report that tells you if and where your story was picked up.
Pricing: Starts at $29 per release and goes up to $419, depending on the distribution package you select.
What We Like: The more advanced packages come with the next-day turnaround, which is helpful if you have a tight deadline.
8. PR Web
PR Web is a tool owned by Cision, a PR and earned media software company.
Their distribution service allows you to upload your press release and rich media like images and videos to distribute the story to journalists and publications in your selected categories.
Pricing: $105 to $435, depending on your selected distribution package.
What We Like: PR Web also provides a comprehensive analytics dashboard to monitor your campaign’s impact and calculate essential metrics, such as ROI.
Response Source is a UK-based distribution service connecting brands with top UK publishers and journalists, and it’s been in business for more than 20 years.
Its decades of experience have helped the service garner a vast network of journalists and publications, allowing the most opportunity to send your press release to valuable contacts.
In just a few simple steps, you can upload your release, set the date for publication, attach your media, select the categories, and choose your distribution channels.
Pricing: Starts at £85 per press release for ad hoc users and goes up to £1050 for bundles.
Best For: Business owners who also want access to analytics, such as the number of views their press release receives and email open rates.
Presswire has a live global database, allowing you to send your press release directly to the journalists who will most likely pick up your story.
This distribution service offers an advanced analytics platform, providing insight on:
- Who opened your press release
- Whether your release was forwarded
- How many times it was read
- How long do people spend reading it
These insights can help you refine your approach for future press releases.
Pricing: Starts at £150 and goes up based on the distribution package and add-on services you select.
What We Like: One standout feature of Presswire is the ability to translate your press release into any language and leverage geo-targeting to deliver it to the appropriate regions.
11. PR Fire
PR Fire syndicates your release to newswires and journalists in the US and UK in your chosen industry categories – all within four business hours after receiving your content.
The press release is also published on the platform’s social media pages and site.
Additionally, two weeks after your press release is distributed, you receive a report detailing its performance.
PR Fire also offers a copy-editing service in which a professional writes or writes your press release.
PR Fire has landed its customers press coverage in various top-tier publications, including BuzzFeed, Metro, The Huffington Post, and The Times, so it’s worth checking out.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $110.
Best For: Businesses who want a guided experience in submitting a press release.
12. Business Wire
For 60 years, Business Wire has built a trusted reputation among worldwide media, distributing press releases to target audiences.
In addition to comprehensive targeting, distribution, and measurement services, Business Wire offers access to 100,000+ media outlets, 200+ industry and trade categories, reach in 162 countries, multimedia capabilities, and social media shareability.
Business Wire also offers editorial services. With editors averaging 12+ years’ tenure, their unique newsroom model provides high-touch customer service around the clock.
Pricing: Tiered pricing based on distribution reach.
Best For: Business owners who want to leverage distribution service with years of experience and resources.
As a journalist, I was writing at least 10 stories a day — and that was when there wasn’t breaking news to tackle. I would often lose count of how many press releases would come across my desk or land in my inbox.
So, how can you ensure your press release is will capture a media outlet’s attention and get published on its platform? And just as importantly, how can you make your distribution email stand out in a crowded inbox?
Follow this five-step guide to learn how.
1. Find journalists who might be interested in your press release.
If you‘re a car parts business looking for press coverage, you wouldn’t send a press release to an education reporter, right? Before you send a release, search for journalists and publishers who’ve already written about your topic or industry.
Let‘s get back to the car parts example. You’ve researched potholes, gathered exciting data, and turned it into a killer press release. It‘s worth seeking publishers who cover the automotive industry and journalists who’ve covered similar topics.
To do this, fire up Google, type in your topic (potholes), and navigate to the News tab:
There are plenty of recent articles on this topic, meaning journalists are likely interested enough to cover it.
Next, read some of the articles on Google News and make a note of the journalists’ names.
A simple spreadsheet with the journalist’s name and the publication they write for is an excellent way to keep a log of your distribution plan:
This method is much more likely to get you responses because you‘re only pitching the release to journalists who’ve demonstrated an interest in your topic.
2. Get the journalists’ contact details.
Next, it’s time to find some contact information for the people on your press release distribution list.
This could be as simple as clicking on an author‘s bio on their publication’s site.
… and making a note of their email address:
But, just like anything else in PR, it can be challenging.
You‘ll often have to do a little digging to find the contact details – starting with a simple Google search such as “[Journalist’s name] email].”
If that doesn’t do the trick, you could also use a media database like Muckrack:
Need the budget for paid databases? Harness the power of social media.
LinkedIn is an excellent place to discover contact information for professional contacts (AKA, your journalists).
Simply search for “journalist” and filter the results by selecting your target publication as “company,” then plug their name into Hunter to find their email address:
Twitter can also be a quick and easy way to get in touch with your target journalists.
3. Craft a killer pitch.
Email is the most effective way to send your press release quickly.
However, there‘s another obstacle you’ll need to overcome here: Journalists can receive up to hundreds of pitches a day.
So here’s what you should do to stand out: First, keep it brief.
Save the journalist‘s time with a long-winded, self-absorbed introduction to yourself or your business. They probably don’t care.
Instead, get straight into the purpose of your email: The story and why they should cover it in their publication.
Journalists are time-poor, so they’ll appreciate a nice, concise message that sells your story in a few words – like this:
As you can see in the example above, the entire story is sold in the first sentence, with a direct question asking if the journalist is interested – rather than just assuming so.
Follow this up with a couple more sentences to give the journalist some additional context before adding a line spacer and pasting your entire press release.
Note: Avoid adding your press releases as attachments. Journalists don’t like opening attachments for fear of viruses or malware, so eliminate that problem by pasting the body of your press release below your pitch.
Second, you must personalize your pitch.
Show some interest in the journalist‘s previous work by indicating that you know they’re a good fit based on the topics they cover.
Try to build a relationship with the journalists first, rather than hitting them with a release and expecting instant coverage.
Sometimes, it’s worth playing the long game by getting to know your desired publisher ahead of your pitch. Engage with them on LinkedIn, respond to their tweets, and generally work yourself into their notifications – and their radar.
3. Make your subject line irresistible.
What’s the first thing you look at before you open an email? The subject line, right? It often plays a significant role in the email open rate.
How can you make sure yours gets opened? Try these tips:
- Keep it short and sweet: Ideally, 10 or fewer words.
- Ensure it’s unique: A powerful subject line should be disruptive, innovative, or offer a human-interest angle.
- Be specific: Your subject line should be descriptive enough to let the reader know what to expect when they open the email.
- Provide exclusivity: If you‘ve got some unique data or research, mention that. Exclusivity can help you grab a journalist’s attention.
And one thing to avoid? Clickbait. It’s that simple.
4. Send your press release pitch (at the right time).
Press release? Check. Pitch email? Check. Contact details? Check.
But you still need to get ready to distribute your press release.
You’ll need to think about the day (and time) you hit the “send” button because certain days and times have better success rates than others.
For instance, some journalists may prefer to sift through pitches in the morning. At the same time, others may pick mid-day or late afternoon.
It’s often a trial-and-error process that you should keep note of.
Additionally, it‘s essential to consider the day of the week. While modern-day businesses are often active seven days a week, there’s still a traditional lull in pick-up rates regarding press release distribution.
So, consider the day you send your release — it might land more coverage if you pitch it midweek instead of sending it first thing on Monday morning.
5. Follow up on your release.
An age-old question: Should you follow up on your pitch if it doesn’t get traction?
It depends on who you’re asking, but generally, the consensus seems evenly split. Some people believe following up to be a big no-no, while others indicate it can be fruitful.
If you have a release you‘re particularly proud of, it won’t hurt to follow up if you‘re struggling to land coverage – provided you’re tactful.
Refrain from spamming the journalist’s inbox with the same press release and pitch. That can get annoying and ruin your chances of getting your story picked up.
Instead, try tweaking the angle of your pitch to something that highlights why they should care about this story.
How to Submit Local Press Releases
Local press releases are great for small, brick-and-mortar businesses that want to reach consumers in their area.
That’s why sending your press release to local newspapers, publishers, and journalists is beneficial.
Many of the guidelines outlined above still apply. What’s different here is that you can take a more personal approach to your pitches and distribution channels. For instance, you can target local radio and TV stations interested in mentioning your story.
Press Release Distribution Mistakes
All set to send your next press release? Hang on a second.
Here are some common mistakes people make and how to avoid them when distributing your press release.
1. Your press release is too long.
Your story needs to be short and succinct.
The easiest way to get your press release read is to cut the fluff. Remove any sentences that won’t add value to the reader.
Your press release needs four main sections:
- Paragraph to introduce the news.
- About two to three paragraphs to dive into the “what” and “why” of the news.
- About and contact information.
Remember: Every sentence counts.
2. You’re targeting the wrong people or publications.
If you work for a small business looking for coverage, you will get the most success from contacting local publications.
A local business story is rarely significant enough to make national news.
You should also double-check that your target journalists are a good fit. Many tend to specialize in one or two interests – emailing a sports reporter about a press release related to health isn’t likely to result in coverage.
3. Your story needs to be newsworthy enough.
Before hitting send and distributing your release, take a moment and ask yourself: “Is this story newsworthy?”
If your release is too self-promotional, it may not interest your target audience.
Ensure it’s got a relevant angle and includes information and/or data pertinent to the story.
Accompanying quotes are also great, as they bring the story to life rather than over-selling your company. For instance, say you‘re partnering with another brand; consider including a quote from the other brand’s CEO explaining their interest in partnering with you.
4. You should have included your contact info.
Imagine crafting that story, pitching it, and finding an interested reporter who wants to contact you for a larger story. But the journalist hits a dead end and is unable to contact you.
Please include your contact information in the press release to avoid losing out on the chance for increased exposure.
You need to make it easy for journalists to contact you by leaving a phone number and email address in your press release distribution email.
Remember to Keep the Relationship Alive
When creating a press release, follow the distribution steps in this guide to boost your chances of landing coverage.
Keep tweaking and refining your approach until you see success. Your first piece of coverage is the domino that starts the run. A story picked up by one news outlet can soon snowball from publication to publication.
If your story gets picked up, remember to thank the journalist. It can facilitate a relationship you can nurture and encourage more accessible coverage.
Ultimately, you can always have a little good press!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.