Am I Overpaying For Press Release Distribution?
Many large and small companies are always looking for ways to save money and get the best return on investment for their efforts. Public relations, including issuing press releases, can be time-consuming, and costly if you use a press release distribution service. One of the most common questions in relation to these services is whether or not they are overpaying.
What is a press release?
A press release is a statement issued by a company to journalists about the latest news related to their business. The goal is to get media pickups from the journalists through offering information that is so interesting, they will be happy to use it as the basis of one of their columns and pass the news along to their regular readers.
What is a press release distribution service?
Not all press release distribution services are the same, but the general idea is for companies to publish their press releases at one or more of these sites so that the largest number of media representatives possible will see it and hopefully pick it up.
However, each service operates in its own way, so it is important to be clear about how each one works. There are free services and paid services. If you are using a paid service, you definitely need to be clear about what is on offer so you don’t overpay and can get the best return on your investment. Here are a few things to look for.
Where are the press releases distributed?
Some firms will release your material on a range of websites they are associated with. This might sound useful, but in many cases, there is no human or editorial input—they just publish your release as is. If no changes are made, your press release will incur a duplicate content penalty for appearing word for word on more than one site. Only the first site that publishes it will show. If this is your own website, then you’ve wasted time and money using one of these services.
Who writes the press release?
Some companies include the writing of the release as part of the service. This might be an attractive option for new marketers who are worried about writing their press release correctly or are not very good at writing. However, since most press releases are only around 400 to 500 words long and there are templates to help new press releases follow the rules of effective release writing, in most cases, you would be overpaying for this service.
Some services will include an editorial review, that is, making sure your release is error-free. Again, in most cases, you will be overpaying. Run a spelling and grammar check on your work, print it out, and read it through on paper to make sure no errors have slipped through the cracks. Get someone else in the company, or someone you trust, to review it, as well.
How many journalists use the service regularly?
You will often see claims of 40,000+ journalists using a press release distribution service as a database for article ideas. But how many actually use it regularly? Being registered and being an active user are two different things.
What is their reporting like?
Whenever you issue a press release, you should always set a goal, such as how many pickups you would like or new subscribers to your email marketing list. Some reports will show the results as broad numbers. Others will be more granular and list exactly which media outlets picked up your story. Also, check to see how long the reports are “live”-is it always, or only a 30-day window of reporting?