DIY Press Release Distribution: What Sticks, What Doesn’t

newspaperThe #1 most important thing you have going for you, if you’re pursuing PR, is your story.  The second is how you distribute that information to the world.  Do you know what journalists you’re trying to reach, where your audience is getting news, what are your goals – numbers/eyeballs or stories?  These are all things to consider about how your PR campaign will be successful.

There are a number of services out there you can use to get your news noticed, beyond hunting down journalists and sending it directly to them.  Here are a few options below and some of the pros and cons:

1. PR Newswire – roughly $400 for regional drop, $1,500 national drop with graphic.  This does not include an annual membership fee of $125, a drop in the bucket for the opportunity to use the service.  PR Newswire is expensive but can guarantee that your press release will be literally dropped in the Inbox of the editors and writers you want to reach.  You pay to reach media directly.  This includes online and direct to subscribers.

2. PR Web – The high-end package is about $400 (beware of all the “extras” they will attempt to sell you.  Most you won’t need) for national/international distribution on the web.  This is a great alternative for widespread, sort of targeted distribution online.  The downside is that it isn’t as targeted, meaning the service is not “dropping” the release in editor’s inboxes.  Still a great tool.

3. Free/Cheap Distribution sites – okay, I admit that some of these “free” options can actually yield some pretty good search results, but they are not targeted and most are sort of the bowl of noodles theory to PR – throw it up on the wall, see what sticks.  You can “look” like you have a good presence online to those who may find you, but I have yet to have any journalist contact me b/c they saw the release on 

Now, some of these sites attract you with “the free” and rope you in with the $25 fee for limited to universal distribution.  We can’t blame them.  EVeryone needs to make money, but, once again I’ve tried this for clients and I’ve yet to have any journalist contact me.  Still, they can increase your distribution reach and can be much more affordable. 

To consider: First weigh your budget against distribution options.  PR Web is reputable and has reach but if you don’t have the budget you might consider a balanced plan between options. 

All of these options allow you to track results such as impressions and views online, and they offer visibility through a variety of partnerships they’ve made to help increase the number of eyeballs that see your press release.  I recommend that you make sure to “Google” your business every few days, or so, to see where your news is being picked up. 

Most importantly for online distribution is remembering to write your news release with an emphasis on search by using keywords.  It will help you learn how to write catching headlines and lead paragraphs.

Keys to getting your press release picked up are a strong headline, lead paragraph and distribution! 

I’d love to hear about anyone who has had success with free press release distribution services!! 

Jennifer Fortney, Cascade Communications


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