Writing and distributing a press release is the first step in starting a conversation with the media that can result in the press coverage you’re looking for. Your press release is more than just an announcement, it’s your way of inviting journalists, bloggers, influencers, and others to learn more about you and the message you want to share.
That’s why effective press release distribution is key to getting media attention.
- How to write a press release
- Where to submit a press release
- Press release submission sites
- Free press release submission sites
- How to submit a press release
- Getting your press release to major media outlets
While there are several ways to share your press release, we want to highlight the use of online press release distribution services to get your message in front of people and organizations that could be interested in what you have to share.
But before we dive further into online press release distribution and where to submit your press release, let’s take a step back and go through a quick refresher course on putting your press release together.
Following a few simple rules will help to increase your chances of getting a response that can turn into the press coverage you’re looking for.
How to write a press release
Before you figure out where to submit your press release, you want to be sure that you’ve got the form and content right. Here are the most important boxes to tick before uploading your press release:
- Get right to the point. Nobody has the time or desire to read through a long introduction or backstory explaining the history of your business or organization. Use the news you want to share as the lead to your press release before you get to any explanation of why it’s newsworthy.
- Explain (briefly) why your announcement is a topic that readers will be interested in. If you’ve chosen your audience well, the people you’re writing to will understand why your news is worth sharing. Still, you can save their time with a quick, possibly bullet-point-style list of highlights of facts and angles that would be of most interest to their readers and followers.
- Think about how giving you coverage will make your media contact look good. Are you offering exclusivity? The chance to be the first to break a story? Can you add to a journalist’s prestige or standing by supplying this information? If you can show how press coverage can make both sides look good, you’re one step closer to your goal.
- If possible, highlight how your news fits with existing conversations. Journalists like things that are on-trend. Is your announcement related to other current topics? Does it build on something a particular journalist has covered? If so, be sure to highlight it.
- Use visual language when possible. Use charts, graphics or other visual elements to make your point and add a creative touch to your pitch. This makes your pitch more engaging, more professional and, hopefully, worthy of attention.
Where to submit a press release
If you’re looking to scale up the reach of your press release beyond what you can do yourself through email, online submission tools might be the solution you need. These are services that have the ability to quickly deliver your press release to thousands of individuals and organizations, giving you a reach far beyond what you could likely manage by yourself.
When using online press release submission sites, you’re paying for access to their established contacts and channels. They build, update and segment thousands of media contacts so you don’t have to. You just drop your press release into the streams they’ve created and they take care of the rest.
Online press release distribution services also deliver value by preparing your announcement to meet the guidelines of different platforms and mediums. This is especially important for technical reasons related to deliverability and landing in Inboxes rather than Spam folders.
Speaking of which, good press release submission sites will make analytical tools available that will give you insights into how your press release is received.
Here are some commonly-used paid online press release submission sites. If you’re considering outsourcing the job of getting your press release out to the four corners of the world, these are good places to start.
Press release submission sites
Here are the most frequently used press release submission sites:
- Ein Presswire
- PR Newswire
With a proven track record of attracting attention with the biggest names in the news business, EIN Presswire has to be among the options when deciding where to submit your press release online. Their contacts with an impressive mix of publications (both online and offline) and broadcast media are sure to include platforms that are perfect for you. EIN Presswire is among the most established online press release submission sites.
Upload your content, select the categories you want to target, choose from additional services like image libraries and editing help and, within four hours, your announcement lands in front of people who can amplify your message. A good starting price point (about $70) and an impressive record of getting coverage from major outlets.
Apart from the wire option, Newswire offers a comprehensive media database that allows you to build a custom audience for your message, increasing the chances of a response. Post-campaign metrics in their analytical tool help to inform decisions about how to follow up and with whom.
Presswire features a staggered pricing system to allow for different needs and regional targeting. With an emphasis on optimizing your press release from a technical perspective to avoid spam filters, Presswire highlights the importance of deliverability in reaching contacts. Great analytics give you insights into how your message was received, with metrics including opens, forwards and length of time spent reading.
Another popular choice for submitting a press release online, PR Newswire’s reach can boost your visibility and get the coverage you’re looking for. With an emphasis on helping you reach new channels and audiences, especially in social media, PR Newswire can get your message in front of journalists and other influencers that other platforms may not.
With pricing options based on reach and turnaround time, this might be a better option for some. As a partner of PRNewswire, 24-7pressrelease.com shares your press release with their database of websites, platforms and services. On the other hand, they don’t offer as many customization options when it comes to audience targeting and sending times.
PRWeb offers the same familiar model of distribution and post-send analytics, but with an expanded menu of additional services designed to get your brand more coverage. Although it comes with a price tag, PRWeb promises to leverage your press release into increased traffic to your site and higher online visibility.
Free press release submission sites
There’s a free version of pretty much everything these days, and press release distribution sites are no exception. You’re welcome to try them if you want to, but this really is a situation where you shouldn’t expect something for nothing.
Most of them are based on a “freemium” model, with necessary upgrades for an additional fee. If you want to experiment just to see what you can get for free, here are a few sites that might help.
- Online PR News
- Press Release Point
- Newswire Today
Your press release gets posted on their site for 90 days for free. If you’re happy with the results and want to get a little more, they offer lots of upgrades to different levels of exposure and distribution.
Essentially the same model, with free distribution on their site and some third-party news sites.
Start with free distribution and upgrade to paid packages if you wish. This service allows hyperlinks, which could be useful for directing recipients to other online PR materials you might want to share.
If those three aren’t enough, you can also submit a press release for free at PR Log, Press Release Point or Newswire Today. Again, keep your expectations in check when using free press release distribution sites.
How to submit a press release?
Using an online press release submission website is typically a straightforward process. You upload your announcement, choose from various premium services on offer and then use tracking tools to measure what kind of response you get.
Better press release submission services will be as user-friendly and effective as other online tools you might use every day. While their price points usually reflect their reach and reputation for results, they all have the same mission—delivering your press release to a wide audience.
While the sites themselves are easy to use, you’ll want to spend some time deciding which is the best fit for you. User interfaces, additional services, price points, analytical tools on offer—all these and more will factor into your choice of which service to use.
Distributing a press release online via these services makes sense when you consider the time required to build and manage an effective contact database. This is especially true for smaller businesses that don’t have the resources to dedicate to this time-intensive task. The cost of online distribution can vary depending on the services involved, but it can be a bargain when you consider the time needed to accomplish the same thing on your own.
PR Outreach as an alternative
Another method of distributing a press release is by yourself, by pitching journalists and other relevant contacts from a media list. Despite the popularity of online submission websites, many PR experts will agree that PR outreach is a more effective method of getting press coverage.
Find out more in our guide: How to Send a Press Release Email to Journalists.
Getting your press release to major media outlets
There are a handful of high-profile news platforms that can get huge amounts of attention for anyone with a press release that gets their attention. Here are some of the biggest along with tips for how you can get your press release on their virtual desk.
How to submit a press release to Yahoo Finance
Yahoo Finance is a very well-known new platform, delivering high visibility. Their content is aggregated and taken from partner PR release services monitored by Yahoo. These are the partner services that supply content for Yahoo Finance:
How to submit a press release to the Associated Press (AP)
The Associated Press (AP) is among the world’s biggest news distribution agencies. When submitting a press release to the AP, be sure to label it as relevant to one of their many branches and divisions (Finance, Banking, Real Estate, etc.). The AP’s preferred method for receiving press releases is by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to submit a press release to Reuters
Another huge news distribution service with a global reach, Reuters has a decentralized operation. When submitting your press release to Reuters, contact their local bureau in your area.
How to submit a press release to the New York Times
This media source needs no introduction and, based on what they write on their website, they don’t need press releases either. Still, if you believe that your announcement meets the newsworthiness standards of the New York Times, you can reach them at https://www.nytimes.com/tips.
How to submit a press release to Google News
Google News is a central distribution point for content across a number of platforms. As with so many other things, Google has simplified the process for submitting a press release down to it’s bare essentials. See for yourself at https://publishercenter.google.com/publications.