So you’ve written a news release about your latest and greatest product, an award you’ve won, an upcoming seminar or e-book, and now you want people to read it. Sure, you could send this release to your city’s daily newspaper as well as the local business journal. If you’re lucky, you may get two lines in the “business notes” section.
How then do we get more mileage out of our news releases? Enter the wire service. A wire service is a company that will distribute your news release to their extended online network of news Web sites and journalists. But the most important benefit is that they will index your news release on the major search engines, including Google, Yahoo and Bing. (See how to write your wire news release here). In this manner, anyone searching for the types of products, services or ideas you offer, will have a higher likelihood of finding your news release online. Using a wire service is one way to maximize your Web site’s search engine optimization (SEO) potential.
There are a bunch of news release distribution services out there, but four prominent ones stand out from the pack: Business Wire, PR Newswire, Marketwire and PRWeb. Each offers a range of different services and some are better suited than others depending on whether you are small business, a large corporation or somewhere in-between. Pricing varies greatly between the four.
When reviewing my recommendations, consider that most of these wire services offer a narrower geographic news release distribution at lower prices. So if you want the benefits of a premium service like Business Wire, but can’t afford its national distribution, you can always opt for a more localized distribution and get the same SEO and search engine indexing benefits.
PROS: Business Wire is the most connected wire service on the Web with the highest number of inbound links from other sites (983,154). Free graphic or logo with every news release. EON service means all news releases will be hosted indefinitely on the site, a new service-wide upgrade in 2010.
CONS: It is the most expensive wire service of the big four. In 2010, Business Wire raised its prices on most of its products by requiring all users pay for its EON: enhanced service, which used to be optional (adding $75 to all their prices). For companies who are budget sensitive, they may elect to use a smaller distribution or switch to another wire.
BEST FOR: Large companies who want the most robust wire service available and are comfortable paying for it.
PROS: With 679,000 pages indexed by Google, PR Newswire is the most indexed of the big four news wires.
CONS: PR Newswire is the only service of the big four that charges an annual membership fee of $195. Additionally, it is the only service that does not automatically host news releases on its site indefinitely. Releases are taken down after one month and put into a password protected database only visible to subscribers, which may impact your long term SEO benefits. If you want to include graphics or logos with your releases, that will cost you a $415 per year hosting fee.
BEST FOR: Large companies who send a lot of news releases per year, but are more interested in reaching journalists and not so much concerned with long term SEO benefits.
(Update 5/6/10 – see comments below for updated PR Newswire data)
PROS: Before Business Wire changed its services, Marketwire lead the pack with its SEO and social media friendliness capabilities. Especially, for a localized release, Marketwire offers very competitive pricing. Free graphic or logo with every news release. Releases hosted indefinitely on the site under a more search engine friendly (clean) URL.
CONS: Marketwire does not rank the best in any of the measures we selected for this comparison, including inbound links, Alexa Traffic Rank, Google Index Pages or national distribution price.
BEST FOR: Medium to small companies who want a good balance of media distribution and social media features at more modest prices.
PROS: PRWeb is the most “watched” of the big four wire services with an Alexa Traffic Rank of 2,633 or the top .01% of all sites on the Internet. It is also the most competitively priced for a national distribution. Free graphic or logo with every news release. Releases hosted indefinitely on the site.
CONS: Does not offer a localized state-by-state distribution option. Does not have the same expansive journalist network of Businesswire or PRNewswire.
BEST FOR: Small or very budget sensitive companies who are more interested in the SEO benefits of sending news releases at the expense of broader media distribution.
If you would like one-on-one assistance with writing your news release, please contact us at http://www.northeastpr.com/contact.php