Are Free Press Release Services Risky Or Helpful?

Writing your press release is the first step. Without publishing it and getting it out to the public, nothing can happen. You can email your press release, share it on social media and publish it on your blog. However, the only way to reach the masses and get your release in front of media representatives from around the world is to use a press release distribution service.

What is a Press Release Distribution Service?

Fundamentally, they distribute your press release. While many services may distribute to the same core media channels, some distribution services have a broader reach than others. Some reach out to newswires, search engines, bloggers and more. When you use a press release distribution service, you submit your release, and make a few choices depending on the service, and then wait and watch.

The Difference between Free and Paid

Let’s first say that many top notch distribution services offer both free and paid options. Free distribution services have the primary benefit of being cost effective. You don’t get any more cost effective than free. However, there are many potential drawbacks to using a free service.

Smaller Reach – Some distribution services may restrict the number of sites and services your release is distributed to.

Restricted Releases – You might be surprised to learn that thousands of press releases are distributed each day. Free press release services generally don’t allow you to use images, graphics, photos, or videos in the body of your release. These features increase the interest a press release can have online. Releases with images are shared more often, they’re syndicated more often and they capture more attention. With a free service, you run the risk of missing out on this traffic.

Reporting – Most paid services provide some analytics and reporting functionality. You can see how many people viewed your release and how many syndicated it. Free press release distribution services rarely offer this type of information. In fact, many of them don’t offer more than one link per press release. Links are one of your most powerful measurement tools because they give you the ability to inspire action and track that action by measuring clicks, sales, opt-ins and so on.

When it Comes to Distribution Services, Is Free Riskier than Paid?

The bottom line is that it depends on your goals. If you want a broad reach and a release that encompasses all of the features that make today’s press releases competitive, then free doesn’t make sense. If you want to be able to share your release with a small audience and stay on a tight budget, free can help you initiate a press release marketing campaign. The good news is that you can start with free and upgrade when you and your press release strategy are ready.

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