Pros and Cons to Using a Press Release Distribution Service for Your Business
We often field questions on the value of using a press release distribution service, such as PR Newswire or BusinessWire, or the difference between this and what Berbay does, which is send a press release to a targeted media list (aka earned media). While we’re not newswire experts, after decades of public relations experience, we have concluded that earned media has much greater value. However, like most things in life, there are benefits to each strategy depending on your overall marketing goals.
To help guide you in this decision-making, let’s look at some of the pros and cons to determine if press release distribution services are worth it.
- Quantity: If you’re looking for quantity over quality in terms of media outlets, newswires have larger distribution networks. It’s possible that your news could publish on up to 100,000 sites. While we have not had first-hand experience seeing this kind of coverage, it’s bolstered on these distribution services’ websites.
- Your exact message: One thing is for sure – your press release will be posted as-is; there is no editorial behind newswires. The coverage you may obtain is simply a reposting of your release. Many services also allow you to include photos, videos and more to complement your release.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Newswires can boost SEO efforts. You could rack up hundreds of third-party backlinks to your firm’s website from SEO-friendly sites like Google News and Yahoo Finance.
- Reporting: Newswires provide comprehensive reporting which can tell you how many times your release got picked up, how many clicks it received and more. This can help calculate your return on investment.
- Price: One major drawback is price. At a minimum, you’re spending a few thousand dollars for one press release. And, if you want to expand your geographic reach, include your logo, or any number of other bells and whistles, it will cost you.
- Not targeted distribution: While you can set your preferred geographic area (metro area, state, national, etc.), there is no targeted media list, i.e., you have no idea who is receiving your press release. You’re essentially hitting send and crossing your fingers that publications will run your news. And since you don’t know exactly who the release is being sent to at an outlet, you can’t do any kind of follow up.
- Obscure coverage: Another downside is that while your news may be published by a couple top trades, many outlets tend to be obscure, low-quality sites, so what are you really paying for? This isn’t an effective way to get your release in front of your target audience.
- No editorial stories: One of the benefits of earned media is when reporters go beyond the press release. If you are sending through a newswire, it’s unlikely a reporter will call you to learn more or run a story beyond the press release itself.
- Lack of real SEO value: Even though you may get coveted backlinks on websites, they often disappear after a short time. This is typical of news shared via newswires.
- Stories not found in Google searches: One significant downfall we see time and time again is that your releases don’t show up in Google when you type in a related keyword. If you type in the headline word for word, you can find your press release, but don’t bank on someone coming across your news by doing a general search.
The Benefits of Earned Media
In Berbay’s experience, you’ll receive greater value by distributing to a targeted list of outlets and reporters versus blasting your news into the ether. This way, you know who the press release is going to, and you can follow up directly to gauge their interest in writing a story. This approach also creates an opportunity to have several unique articles written about your firm instead of the same press release content appearing on sites. Another benefit is you can begin to develop relationships with reporters and become a resource for future stories they are working on.
If budget isn’t a concern, you could consider implementing both a targeted outreach and a newswire distribution.
Partner with a Trusted Los Angeles Marketing and PR Firm
Berbay Marketing & Public Relations has nearly three decades of experience providing law, real estate and financial firms with marketing and public relations services that propel your business forward. Berbay’s team has demonstrated success securing media placements, achieving nominations and rankings, revitalizing websites, enhancing your social media presence, obtaining speaking engagements and more.