Press Release Tip 83
The 5 best free press release services
I no longer discourage publicity-seekers from using free press release services like I did several years ago when I created this course.
That’s because I’ve been hearing encouraging news from some of them who have gotten good results. Use caution, however, when choosing a service because all but a few are terrible.
Here are the disadvantages of using free press release distribution services exclusively:
- Even though they call themselves “distribution” services, many of them don’t distribute anything. Your press release is simply parked at their website, waiting to be found by the search engines. Problem is, the search engines are busy paying more attention to the press releases that were posted through the paid services.
- The media seldom if ever visit these websites. They have more than enough press releases to review by concentrating on the major press release distribution sites.
- Most of the free services don’t have special arrangements with Google, Yahoo and other search engines to make content part of the search engine news feeds.
- There’s no way to track statistics, such as how many people viewed your press release.
- Many of the free services exist for one reason–to entice customers to pay to upgrade their release for a higher level of service so the search engines can find the releases. Or to generate revenue from Google ads.
FitSmallBiz.com reviewed more than 90 of the free options and found only five reputable choices. They then reviewed those five on criteria such as the size of their distribution network, level of customization, and ease of use. I haven’t tested any of these but you might want to.
- PRLog was chosen the best overall. Use it if you want to send your release to the largest network of free media outlets.
- Free PRess Release is for businesses that also want their press release shared on social media.
- Newswire Today is for business owners who want another free press release distribution service to potentially widen reach.
- PR.com is for you if you want to create a free press release with custom features but don’t need distribution.
- Online PR Media will let you create a simple press release without the syndication.
I haven’t tested any of these, but they’re worth a try. Remember that a customized pitch to a specific media outlet is far more effective than simply writing and distributing a press release. Use your release as collateral material that provides additional details. Use a pitch to get the media’s attention.
Word of caution: Don’t buy software that promises to automatically format and deliver your press releases to free press release “distribution” sites and “put your press releases on steroids.” Using these software programs can hurt your standing with Google. Most of these junk press release portals are created for one reason: to accept advertising.
Opportunity #83 to write a press release: TV show appearance
If you were featured on the news or a TV talk show, you have many audiences that might want to know about it. They include your social media followers, trade industry members, your neighbors, and others. Within the press release, mention your key message during the newscast or show. If there’s a video clip of the segment, include the link within the release for the benefit of those who missed it.
If you haven’t been on TV yet and want to be, but you don’t know who to call, Shawn Duperon can help. She’s a former TV producer who explains, step by step, how to be featured on a local newscast. The PDF transcript of my interview with her on “How to Get on the Local TV News Tomorrow” is one of my most popular training tools.
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