The term “press release distribution” can be a little bit confusing, especially if you are not familiar with the public relations process. At a high level, press release distribution involves getting your press release—your news announcement—in front of reporters and the general public. Confusion tends to set in, however, due to vendor hype and the multi-faceted nature of PR distribution.
Let’s try to get some clarity on the different ways press releases get distributed. There are four basic ways to distribute a press release:
Do it yourself, by putting together a list of reporters who might be interested in your news and emailing the press release to them. Or, call them on the phone. You’d be surprised how well that still works. This can be effective, but there is no guarantee they’ll be interested.
Have a public relations firm send your press release to reporters. This is known as “media outreach,” which we offer as a service. Again, this can be effective, but even the best PR firm cannot guarantee that a reporter will want to write about your news. (We would advise skepticism about firms that make such a claim.)
Syndicate your press release using a service like EIN Press Wire. We offer this service. EIN takes your press release and automatically publishes it on about 150 news sites, mostly those belonging to radio and TV stations. These sites are partners with EIN and almost always automatically publish whatever press release EIN sends to them (with certain exceptions, such as cannabis news).
Put your press release “on the wire” with one of the major press release distribution services, such as PR News Wire or Globe Newswire. This costs more, but it’s often worth it. The major distribution services send your press release to thousands of news websites, newspapers, radio stations and TV stations. They almost always include the biggest outlets, like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. However, and this is critical to understand, this does not mean that the New York Times will carry your news just because you distributed it through PR News Wire. All that means is that a reporter at that paper may see your news as part of a “news feed” he or she sees throughout the day.
Our general recommendation is that you use our EIN Press Wire service for press release syndication if you are interested in improving your search engine rankings. Some PR firms advertise that they can get “On Fox News” with EIN-like services, but this is not quite honest, in our view. Yes, you can get your press release listed on a news feed on a Fox TV station website, but it’s not quite like getting featured on Fox News.
If you want a better chance at getting your news picked up by major publications or sites like Yahoo! Finance, then PR News Wire and Globe Newswire are your best choices. Using these services will also help you with SEO.
To get actual press coverage, your best bet is to do media outreach.
One final note: Press release distribution services will not distribute press releases in certain forbidden categories. These include subjects like gambling, adult entertainment, alcohol and so forth. If you are unsure if your news falls into one of these categories, check with us before you order.