Public relations · Digital marketing

Has anyone found PR newswire helpful, especially its PR ToolKit for small biz?

Evelyn Chen

December 7th, 2015

My company this month has been featured on BMW Supplier Diversity Spotlight webpage.  Since the featuring will be on for whole December, I'm thinking to use a social media to widely spread the words out to more audience in industry of manufacturing, engineers, and others.  Has anyone has used PR newswire and recommended it? or any other advice?  Thank you in advance for your sharing here!

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

December 7th, 2015

Evelyn, it strikes me that your focus should be on outreach to specific targets rather than general awareness. Nobody cares about your BMW Supplier feature... except the people who want to buy your services. You know what your target industries and organizations are. Seems like putting all your energy directly in lead generation, marketing automation and sales on those targets is time much better spent than trying to compete with the Kardashians.

Your prospects aren't on Instagram.

If the BMW feature is notable, then pitch a recent product/innovation of yours directly to industry publications read by your customers and use your BMW news as social proof to get a writer to care. Do u know what the top relevant publications are for your target market?


Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

December 7th, 2015

Evelyn, congratulations on being on the BMW webpage but unfortunately it's not newsworthy. Think about if you were editor of the publications/blogs you're trying to target. What's the news? What happened? Is this part of a larger trend? Will my readers care? What's the headline?

I saw that the BMW story was about diversity... although it didn't mention how you were a diverse company. Are you a particularly diverse company? Do your competitors lack that diversity? If so, then go ahead and pitch that story. Why are you a diverse company? Is this a conscious decision for you? If so, what are the advantages of this? Does this allow you to ideate better? Execute better? Is this better for your customers? Why? Are there parallels you can draw to other successful industries or overall diversity trends? etc. Make the editor's life easy.

Maybe diversity isn't a story at all. In which case, just send a link to your friends and then focus on the real stories that will get media interested.


Edward M. Yang

December 9th, 2015

Robert, in the spirit of not dragging out this discussion into a spitting contest, feel free to keep stuffing your press releases with links. I would urge others reading this to not do so. Your mileage may vary.

As for Marketwire, here's a screenshot for their US National Distribution rate:

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Julie Wright Public Relations Agency President & Founder

December 7th, 2015

Newswires will not raise awareness. They can be helpful to make your information discoverable to someone searching online for the right key terms. Since that is their greatest use, you are better off using the least expensive wire. I'd suggest PR Web. The Supplier Diversity listing isn't a newsworthy item on its own, so it won't generate media interest. You can still draft a short release and list it on your website to show a progression of growth and accomplishment along with major new customer wins, new hires, awards and product launches or milestones. It doesn't hurt for a site visitor to see that in order to validate your business.

Edward M. Yang

December 8th, 2015

As an addendum, I wrote two blog posts on this very subject:

http://www.firecrackerpr.com/2011/09/07/whats-the-deal-with-wire-services/

http://www.firecrackerpr.com/2013/02/06/comparison-of-wire-services-for-press-release-distribution/

The comparison chart may be a bit out of date, but most of it should still be accurate.

Edward M. Yang

December 8th, 2015

Also as a warning, do not use Robert's tactic of including 10 links in one press release. Most reputable wire services don't allow that. The ones that do, you can be sure Google will be penalizing those site reprints sooner rather than later. There's a place for press releases, but building back links isn't one of them any longer.

Edward M. Yang

December 9th, 2015

Robert, no need to make disparaging personal attacks. The point of this site is to share information and debate freely.

1. I see the CBS Marketwatch reprint of your press release, and it only has 2 clickable links, showing that they've edited and limited 13 of your links. The Marketwire one does have 15 clickable links, unfortunately they are all NO FOLLOW links including the one to your client's homepage. No follow links are better than nothing, but their SEO benefit is vastly lower than quality "DO FOLLOW" links. All you're really signaling to Google by stuffing 15 links into one press release is that you're trying to game their algorithm, and that can come back to bite you.

Your report shows over 200 clicks of your links, but it doesn't say which links they clicked on. Considering 13 of the links were to press releases of your competitors, it's very likely the majority of those clicks went to those.

2. "App targets 3D printers". Congrats, your press release comes up first. But guess what? A simple search using Google's free Keyword Planner tool shows it has 0 search volume globally. 

So you rank your client first for a term that no one searches for? Not sure that's a win. You may be able to sell it as a win to your client, but for all intents and purposes it may not move the needle much.

3. Marketwire charges $570 for the first 400 words and $185 for each additional 100 words for US national distribution.

eReleases, which distributes on PR Newswire, charges $299 for 600 words for US national distribution.

Thus, for the same release of 600 words, Marketwire would cost $940. eReleases via PR Newswire would cost $299. All things being equal, I'd go with PR Newswire for $641 less any day.

Here's an article that talks about the death of SEO via wire services: http://www.pressat.co.uk/blog/2013/09/google-press-release-no-follow-effect/

We both agree on one point: targeted media relations with a good story beats a press release any day. That's a given. And you are correct, putting out a press release is better than nothing for clients who are really budget-strapped. 

But I wouldn't over-promise the SEO or link benefits of a press release via any wire service. That same amount of money could be used to get quality backlinks from reputable websites or directories.

Edward M. Yang

December 7th, 2015

A wire service is good if you want to get your news out there as "official". 

For actual press coverage, nothing beats reaching out to targeted editors and reporters with an interesting story or angle. As Michael noted above, figuring out which publications, blogs and industry organizations your prospects frequent will go a long way towards targeting the right press.

Bill Hankes

December 8th, 2015

As a former PR guy for 20 years, I concur with the smart comments already provided here. Don't go the news wire route. Instead build relationships w/ the press. Your instincts about promoting via social or directly (content marketing) with your target are right.

Edward M. Yang

December 8th, 2015

I'll have to respectfully disagree with Robert Hoskins here.

I've been doing PR for 13 years. I've used every single wire service under the sun.

Marketwire is ok but it's not the best. The two best are BusinessWire and PR Newswire. But they are also expensive.

However, you can get distributed on PR Newswire by going through eReleases for much less.

I've had reporters contact me from Wall St Journal and LA Times among others from eReleases/PR Newswire, but it's very rare.

Don't expect to get any news coverage directly from a wire service. Anyone telling you otherwise isn't telling the whole story.