Do you have true confidence that your press releases are doing everything possible for your business?
Press releases are just one aspect of a well-oiled marketing machine, but they're a vital one. A well-distributed press release shares news and generates interest in your brand. It brings in new consumers or potential business partners. The best press release is one that makes a stir.
There are multiple companies specializing in the creation and distribution of highly effective press releases. I've taken a look at some of the best ones to help you decide which will fit your business.
Top 5: Press Release Service Review
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This company uses a cloud-based platform to let you distribute news to both digital and traditional media outlets. There are five tiers when choosing press release packages, with the price being quoted per release:
Simple Post is a non-distribution package. Rather than being released to media outlets, the story will be posted to the 24-7 Press Release website.
The Visibility Boost tier is a starter package for businesses who want to increase their visibility online. With the PR Network package, your story will be distributed to various online media partners including Associated Press.
The most popular package is the Integrated Media Pro, which distributes news to traditional and online sources. Your story will be published in newspapers and reported on by journalists as well as appearing in online publications.
Mass Media Visibility is the most intensive package, and includes the distribution of your story to more than 4,500 websites to gain you the highest possible amount of visibility and traffic.
In addition to the publication and distribution services, the company partners with Prompt Proofing. The Prompt Proofing team will write and edit press releases that have been optimized for distribution. You can also get writing and editing services for other business-related content.
This is an ideal solution for those without a background in copywriting experience. The writers affiliated with this press release service are familiar with press releases and the use of language to reach different target audiences.
You can also access a PR knowledge base through the company's website. It has a wealth of information regarding how to construct and distribute a press release, all of which can be used free of charge.
E Releases is a press release company offering distribution and writing services. The goal of the company is to connect you to publications and journalists interested in distributing your content. By reaching interested parties, you have a greater chance of being seen by your target audience.
The newswire distribution network will send your story to every major news outlet in the United States. It will also be distributed to a selection of publications chosen from over 550 content systems.
The company's media database is made up of more than 1.7 million contacts. By connecting you with partnered contacts, your story is immediately given more attention than you can get on your own. There are magazines, reporters, and bloggers in nearly any industry you can think of.
In fact, more than 700,000 contacts are social media influencers and bloggers. These people can boost your story and offer credibility in your industry. The company leverages more than 20 years of experience curating relationships with reporters and journalists.
Rather than blasting your release to every contact in the network, the company's editors will examine your story and match it to the best journalists. These are people in your industry who have an interest in your content, which helps to increase your distribution and visibility.
Unlike some of the competitors on the market, the company also measures your results. They'll give you access to a detailed report that offers information including your audience, engagement, and overall traffic. You'll also be linked to the distribution where it exists on up to 300 online submission sites.
The Buzz Builder tier gives you national distribution through PR Newswire to more than 60 media sites. It also includes SEO enhancement. With the Newsmaker tier, your story is distributed to premium news outlets in two targeted industries. You're guaranteed publication on at least 90 media sites.
The PR Pro tier allows for three targeted industries and stories of up to 600 words. You're also guaranteed to be published on at least 120 media sites.
EIN Presswire is one of the services offered by EIN News. The company also has a newsdesk that distributes breaking news, a world media directory that lists media outlets throughout the world, and a free news plugin that lets you curate customized newsfeeds for your WordPress website.
There are four main tiers of PR service:
Every plan places your news release on the company's website and whatever newsdesk publications you choose. It also indexes your story on major search engines, places your story on major news sites and partner sites, and distributes your story to interested parties in the World Media Directory.
With Pro, you get three distribution channels, distribution to relevant television and radio programs, distribution to registered readers, and Twitter and Facebook posting.
With Pro+, you can schedule release times, get same-day distribution, and use five distribution channels. You can also have embedded images, videos, quotes, and websites.
Corporate has many of the same features as Pro+, with the biggest difference being that the word cap is 2,500 rather than 1,000.
PRWeb is a company focusing on digital PR distribution through the use of tools to improve your traffic. The website makes it very easy to DIY your content.
When crafting your press release, you can upload your existing content and adjust the layout. Unlike other services, this service makes it easy to include photos, videos, and links to your social media. These can help promote reader engagement and gain you new followers looking for specific content you post.
The story is distributed to specific journalists and bloggers in your industry. It's also distributed across social media and indexed in major search engines.
Comprehensive reporting tools are offered to make calculating ROI easy. The analytics include traffic details, data about your audience, and engagement metrics.
Price is calculated per news release:
Basic releases are hosted through the company's website and indexed in major search engines with SEO-friendly structuring. Standard releases are distributed across several hundred partner websites.
Advanced releases are emailed directly to industry-specific influencers. Premium releases are given the highest chance of going viral by being distributed to influential bloggers and industry-related Twitter feeds.
Newswire is a press release service offering distribution software across multiple types of media channels. Press releases are distributed to major media outlets related to your industry, with additional options available to give you the highest impact at the best time.
Through the media database, you can connect with journalists in your specific industry. The media watching tools allow you to monitor your stories so you can measure audience engagement, track important news and mentions, and improve your ROI.
The Digital tier allows you to publish to major news outlets. Digital Plus expands the number of networks you're published on while ensuring that you rank in search engines for industry-specific keywords.
State is a tier made for regional distribution. If you're a local business, you can use this option to distribute your content to regional, local, and state news outlets. You can also share your content through state-specific social media.
The National tier, on the other hand, is made for nationwide distribution. Financial lets you distribute to financial news websites. International distributes across the entire globe rather than focusing solely on the US.
best press release service
For the best overall choice, we have to go with 24-7 Press Release. This company's network encompasses both digital and print media, which is significant in an age when most press release networks only use digital partners. If you want your story published in newsprint, this is the place to go.
It's also ideal because of the writing and editing services available. You can have your press release drafted, polished, and optimized for distribution. The writers use techniques that drive interest and increase shares.
For highly optimized digital content, our favorite pick is E Releases. The company employs editors that will screen your content and hand-match it to the right journalists and bloggers. With a network of more than 1.7 million partners, there are people available no matter how highly specific your niche or industry.
Beginner's Guide to creating a successful press releaseWriting an effective press release has the potential to add credibility and awareness to your brand. It’s a process that starts the relationship with your audience and allows you to build a long-lasting impression that turns leads into sales.
If your press release is well crafted, then it becomes a triggering point for a surge of third-party articles that bring in more customers. The challenge is understanding how to write press releases in a way that doesn’t seem tedious or difficult.
Let’s take a deep dive into everything you need to know about press releases as a beginner.
What Is a Press Release?
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that writing a press release is so simple that you don’t need to follow a specific process. You need to understand the definite parts that create a successful PR campaign.
You’ll use a press release to announce new hires or acquisitions. You might also announce and promote events or products. Each press release needs to become successful at the following three things:
- Provide interesting information
- Gain the interest of news outlets and journalists
- Use a specific formula to produce well-planned statements
The purpose of writing a press release is to get journalists, online influencers and bloggers to sit up and take notice. You’re pitching to various websites and newswires in the hopes of getting those influencers and journalists to promote your product or service across their social media platforms and websites.
This third-party promotion will last longer based on how effective you are in broadly distributing the press release. Your email marketing campaigns will also play into your press release campaigns.
Press Release Benefits
It’s possible that you believe the press release marketing strategy is outdated against all the newer forms of online marketing. The truth is that the following benefits illustrate why it's worth learning the press release process.
A press release is cost effective when it comes to distributing information. One single press release has the potential of going far and wide across a variety of online distribution channels. Consider that one single journalist can get your message heard far and wide if their following is large enough.
You have a higher chance of getting noticed than you do posting to your smaller social media following. For instance, some media outlets broadcast their messages out to tens of thousands of subscribers. Others broadcast to millions of subscribers. You only need a small slice of those audiences to dramatically increase your brand awareness.
Other benefits of press releases include:
- Reliable backlinks to your website. It’s not easy to generate quality backlinks that Google looks upon favorably. Backlinks from news sources and websites are quality links.
- Higher search engine rankings. Google and the other search engines take notice when those new links hit your site. They also see that there is a sudden increase in quality traffic from your PR campaigns. All of this adds up to better overall search rankings.
- Improved brand awareness and credibility. Simply getting shared by trusted media outlets helps gain trust in the minds of consumers.
Parts Of a Press Release
It’s vital to understand the various elements of a press release in order to gain all the above benefits. Each press release has several parts that need to be done properly so that your campaign looks attractive to the influencers you want to attract.
Including the release date is vital when you’re planning to send out the press release to media outlets. This helps ensure that your PR campaign gets picked up by the proper newswires and becomes known publicly.
There are two ways to use a release date:
- For Immediate Release
- Embargoed Until [Date]
“For Immediate Release” means that newswires can immediately publish the content.
You’ll use a media embargo when you want the press release delayed in terms of the date it becomes available for public consumption. You do this when you want to get the content out to journalists and time everything for a big reveal on a specific day.
Using the media embargo process allows media outlets time to collect more details about your company and product so they can have in-depth content written and ready for the release date. This is the perfect tactic for announcing a new event or launching a brand new product.
Each press release has a headline that allows you to provide a title that notifies readers of the release’s main topic. This means it must be enticing and attract immediate interest. Making your headline bold is a great tip for helping it stand out.
A subheading on a press release allows for more context after the headline in your goal of keeping the reader’s attention. Use it to provide additional details and move people into the main body of the press release. Italicize your subheading and keep it under 350 characters.
The release date and place where the news is originating from goes into the dateline. Most news outlets expect the use of the Associated Press (AP) Style Guide here so learn about this if you need to.
All of the details about your press release exist inside the body. This is the section where you get into the “nitty-gritty” about what’s happening with your company. Use the five journalism Ws in the body:
Do everything you can to make the body interesting and compelling. This includes using:
The body needs to consist of three major sections. The first part is the teaser, which comes directly after the dateline. The purpose of the teaser is to hook readers in so they want to know more about the topic.
The next part is called the intro. Your intro provides additional details about the press release and needs to cover all the major points. The main paragraph is your last section. This covers details that weren’t included as a part of the intro. Use the main paragraph to provide background information on a new hire or your new product.
Use the boilerplate section to introduce your company. Using a maximum of 100 words, you can include the following information:
- Website links
- Company tagline
- Services and products that your company provides
Use hyperlinks to provide outgoing access from the press release over to your social media, website or other relevant company-related sites. This allows you to generate leads and customers from your press releases.
You need to use quotes from lead people inside your company to provide better context, appeal to emotions and help with overall credibility.
Your press release needs something visual and attractive that breaks up the text. For instance, you might use a colorful book cover image if your press release is announcing your new book.
This tells the reader that they’ve come to the end of the press release. You’ll often see following used to notate the ending: ###
You need to make sure a reporter, prospect or customer can easily reach you. Provide the following contact information in your press release:
- Phone number
- Email address
Using The Inverted Pyramid
The process you just learned above is what’s called the inverted pyramid format. It’s a good idea to be aware of how this works so that you gain full understanding about the press release process.
The inverted pyramid format has three sections to it:
- Top section: This includes all the most important facts, such as the 5 Ws (Who, What, Where, What and Why).
- Middle section: This is the part that includes quotes and other vital information.
- Bottom section: This is where you place your boilerplate, contact info and other important facts.
You should learn more about the inverted pyramid format because it should be used for all online content. It helps readers scan a page and easily figure out what information they want to focus on and read thoroughly.
Use Plain Language When Writing a Press Release
Don’t try to make a press release complicated. Use plain English so that your ideas are immediately assimilated into the minds of your readers. Don’t use unnecessary words. Instead, use brevity whenever possible so you don’t create confusion.
Keep your paragraphs to five sentences or less. Make use of short sentences that include simple and concise ideas. Edit ruthlessly to cut out industry jargon that will confuse those who aren’t insiders.
Include The Most Complete Details
Don’t leave important details out of your press release. For instance, use simple statistics when relevant in order to add additional credibility. Make sure your contact information is accurate and complete.
Include a Complete Description That Also Employs Intrigue
You must include plenty of information and details that make readers interested and intrigued with your story. However, don’t be tempted to tell the entire story.
Keep your press release under two pages in length and avoid saying too much. As a matter of fact, a one-page press release that comes in under 500 words is the most ideal way to do it. Leaving some details of your story out makes the media reach back out to you for more information. Let them tell the rest of your story inside their own write-ups.
Once you get past the 5 Ws, you should think about these three words when editing the rest of the content:
Use short and punchy sentences. Don’t use fluff. Make sure your quotes and statistics add credibility and support any claims you might make.
Set a Proper Tone
Don’t make the tone of your press release too casual or too formal. In fact, it should be similar to writing a newspaper piece. Highlight all facts and be straightforward and objective. Use the third person when writing a press release. This means you shouldn’t use words such as:
You’re Writing Up a “Story”
Your press release needs to appeal to a wide, broad audience base. Don’t use acronyms that people won’t understand. Avoid confusing industry jargon.
Instead, write the release in a way that tells an interesting story. Use easy-to-understand language and focus on what makes your product or service intriguing.
Use Interesting & Insightful Content
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build out the press release story. The answers will help ensure that your content is interesting to readers.
- Is your content relevant?
- Have you written shareable content?
- Have you provided something newsworthy?
- Are you using content in a way that answers a useful question?
You must use compelling and exciting information throughout the headline, subheading and body. Your content needs to promote and nurture positive actions via its engaging nature.
Write In a Consistent Manner
Be aware of consistency as you edit your content. For instance, did you say “second quarter” in one section and Q2 in another? Select one way and stick to it. Use consistent language throughout the entire piece.
Be Generally Aware Of Keywords
While you don’t need to use keywords in a rigid search engine optimization (SEO) sense when crafting a press release, you should be aware that you’re using keywords that make sense to your target audience.
How much does your audience already know about your products or company? Consider the type of language they should already be familiar with. Use keywords that might have some SEO value but focus mostly on whether they are relevant to your human readers.
Do you happen to have different segments of subscribers who use different vocabularies? If you do, then the solution might be to write a unique press release for each segment and send them out separately.
Use Keywords Early In The Press Release
Don’t stuff keywords but do place any important keywords inside the first part of the release. Use your main keyword in the first sentence. Your headline and subheading should also make use of the main keyword.
However, it’s better to leave the keyword out of a subheading if it doesn’t contribute well to the overall story you’re telling. Only add specific keywords to the body of the piece if you can do so without losing a natural flow to your writing.
Don’t Overuse Keywords Or Links
Be judicious with your use of links and keywords. To be even more specific regarding the above section on keywords, make sure the main keyword is in the first paragraph, the headline and image alt tags. If you can’t fit it in anywhere else without feeling awkward, then that is just fine.
Don’t use more than three hyperlinks for every 500 words of copy. Use your main keyword once as the anchor text in the first link, if possible.
Keep Your Headline To Less Than 10 Words
Write the news angle into the headline and do it in 10 words or less. Ask yourself how you can write these types of concepts into your headline:
- Being the first
Place the location into your headline if you’re releasing to the local press. Don’t allow your headlines to read like a blog. Avoid using brand names or exaggeration.
Tips For Writing An Effective Body
We gave you the elements of the body above. Now, let’s focus on how to make the body as engaging as possible.
Create a first sentence that consists of 20 words or less. Think of the first sentence as the entire press release’s summary. Get right to the point and only include the most necessary details.
The first sentence needs to answer the question, “So, what?”. Craft this sentence in a way that elicits one of the following responses in your readers:
- An emotion
- A specific impact
- Envisioning a series of events
- A different opinion or perspective on a topic
Use all your best information at the beginning of the body. Don’t hold anything back for later. Lead immediately with impactful studies, statistics, new product announcements, facts and figures. Your news can’t be hidden beneath a lot of fancy words.
If you follow these tips, then you'll end up with a press release that engages your audience, gets shared across a wide variety of audiences and results in more leads and sales for your business.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is a press release?
Press releases are designed to interest reporters or journalists and encourage them to write a story about a particular topic. They provide the essential details about an upcoming or past event, product launch, or other news-worthy information presented in an intriguing way.
Press releases are typically short documents that give the press enough information to write their own story or encourage them to conduct a little of their own research on the topic.
What is included in a press release?
A press release should include all the essential information that a journalist would need to write about a particular story. It should start with the location and date of the story.
The location and date should be followed by a brief headline highlighting what the story is about. It is important to write a very catchy headline since this is what a journalist will look at first. If the story doesn't sound interesting based on the headline, they will likely just ignore the rest of the press release.
After the headline, you will want to include a very short (one-line) summary of the press release. Following the summary, you will want to answer all of the important questions a journalist would need to address in a story about the topic. Explain who/what the story is about, what happened/will happen, where or when the events occurred/will occur, and why this is of interest or importance.
Finally, include a call to action at the end of the press release. This may be something about trying out the feature product, getting tickets for the event, or contracting the company to learn more. Be sure to list your contact information and any links to your website(s) that you want shared with the journalists or readers of any articles.
While you want your press release to promote your company or event, you don't want to make it too 'sales-y.' This could turn off journalists and make them decline to cover the story.
Should I include photographs in my press release?
Yes, you will definitely want to include photographs in a press release. It may very well be a strong image included with your press release that convinces a journalist to write a story covering your content.
When adding a photo, you want to be very selective. Choose images that correspond with your story and will capture the attention of the journalists. You don't, for example, want to include headshots or photos found of stock photography websites, since these aren't relevant to the story you are sharing.
How do I share my press releases with journalists?
There are a few different options you have when deciding how to get members of the press to actually read the press releases you write. Traditionally, press releases have been sent over email or fax, however since my spammers also use these methods it is likely that your press release will be overlooked.
But it never hurts to send a particularly compelling story to as many journalists as you can. You never know who may pick it up and decide to cover your company.
Taking time to create a relationship with a contact in the media is often your best bet for getting your press releases read. Find time to get to know a local journalist, read his or her stories, and get a feel for the type of stories they like to cover. Sharing press releases that fit their style may help encourage them to write a story about your content.
As your relationship continues to develop with this person, it will be more likely that he or she will continue to write stories about your events, product releases, or other important company news items.
Another option you can consider that will get your company name and information in front of the eyes of many journalists is to sign up for a press release service. These services are well-known and trusted by members of the press, so information shared by them won't be brushed off as spam. A press release service can help get your information shared with thousands of websites and journalists, which can significantly increase the chances that your story will be well-covered.
How can a press release help my business?
A press release can often be a powerful tool to help increase awareness about your company or encourage readers to attend events, make purchases, or share what you have to offer with others.
When a press release you write is picked up by a journalist, your company or brand will get instant exposure and become more well-known with anyone who reads the article. Since your company is covered in the news, many readers will also view you as a reputable authority on the subject.
Press releases also bring along the possibility if dramatically increasing your sales (for products, services, events, or whatever you are offering). As more and more people read about your company through different articles or hear about them in the news, it will be more likely that your website or storefront will see increased traffic and sales.
Since a press release will likely lead to increased traffic on your website, you could capitalize on the opportunity and use it to add new leads to your customer database. Before sending out the press release, look into marketing services that could help you collect the information of your customers to add them to email marketing campaigns.
When journalists begin covering your story, it can also help keep their attention on your company. This may lead to increased news coverage for future events or product launches in the future, which could be even more beneficial.
What is a press release service?
A press release service is a service designed to help spread your press releases and increase coverage of your stories. Every company that offers press release services may look a little different and offer different services and benefits to their clients.
One of the services that is offered by some companies is writing your press releases for you. Writing a press release is different from other types of writing, and if you are not experienced in this matter, it could cause what you share to get completely overlooked by journalists. If your company doesn't have the money to pay for a public relations person who is knowledgeable and experienced with writing press releases, choosing a service that offers this benefit can be very helpful.
You can feel confident that your press releases are formatted correctly and include the information journalists are looking for when deciding whether you cover a story. If you don't want to have someone else write your press releases for you, many press release services also offer editing options, so you could at least have your content edited by a professional before it is shared.
A press release service will take care of distributing your press release to various websites, blogs, and news outlets. Since they have a system in place and more connections than you could possibly have, it will dramatically increase the number of people that read your press release, which could lead to more coverage for your story. Journalists view press release services as a trusted source of information, so your story won't just be pushed aside and view as spam.
What should I look for when choosing a press release distribution service?
Using a distribution service can help your press releases land in the hands of many more journalists and news outlets than you'd likely be able to achieve on your own. If you've decided to go this route, your next step will be deciding which press release distribution service to use. We'll share find a few different things you'll want to keep in mind as you make your decision.
One of the first things you should look for is a credible service that has a far reach. You want to make sure that the press releases shared will land on the desks of numerous journalists, news outlets, and bloggers. Look for information about how many websites/journalists will receive your press releases before signing up with any service.
Some services also specifically select journalists or websites to share your content with based on the type of information you are sharing. This may also help increase your exposure, since your content will be shared with journalists who are more likely to cover the type of story you have.
You should also look for a service that makes it possible (and easy) to upload photographs when entering the information for your press release. Photos can be such a powerful tool in capturing the attention of journalists and potential readers, so you'll want to choose a service that will make this possible.
Some press release services offer writing and editing services in addition to distribution services. Having a professional writer with experience writing press releases write your content can be very beneficial.
A press release is very different from other types of writing and in order for stories to be picked up by the press, they need to be written correctly. If you or someone on your team doesn't have experience with this, you may find that hiring a service to take care of it for you is a great decision.
In addition to writing press releases for you, some companies also offer editing services. They will edit the press releases you write to get them ready to be viewed by journalists. This is another thing you may want to look for when selecting a press release service.
If you want to be able to view the effectiveness of your press releases, look for a company that will provide you with reports. Some services will share information about which sources your press releases were shared with as well as data about engagement or increased traffic generated by the press release.
Finally, you'll want to keep your budget in mind when selecting a press release service. Look at the different plans offered by different companies and be sure to pay attention to how many press releases you get for each plan to help you make your decision.
Are press releases worth it?
No matter how you measure this, the answer will pretty much always be yes. That is, if you distribute your content correctly.
A good press release will reach your target audience, get people talking, and generate interest in your business. The ROI should be measurably greater than the initial investment.
Many press release companies offer measurement tools to help you calculate your exact ROI. You can even analyze how different components of your content are performing so you can optimize future releases to get better ROI.