Free vs. Paid Press Release Distribution: Which Wins?
If you’re starting out with online press releases, you’re probably looking to make the biggest splash with the least amount of investment. Understandable. There are free press release distribution sites available, and there are also ones that charge a fee to get your press release published on multiple websites in your industry.
The question is: which one is right for you?
The Truth About Free Press Releases
If you’re a small business with an equally small budget, it might make sense to start with the zero-cost option. But a word of caution: you won’t make the impact with free services that you would paid. Ever heard that adage, “you get what you pay for?” It applies.
There are several drawbacks to free press release distribution services:
- They require more legwork on your part
- They don’t usually post your release instantly
- The quality of the sites they post to are less than that of paid distribution
- They’re not always reliable
Each distribution site will publish your release on a handful of other sites, but usually not as many as you get with paid distribution. So you may end up posting your release to multiple free sites. Consider what your time is worth before assuming that the service is totally free. After all, if you’re spending three hours to get it online, that time has a value attached to it.
Investing in Paid Distribution
In my mind, it’s worth the investment to get paid press release distribution through a channel like PRWeb. They have relationships with sites you’ve actually heard of, like Google News and USAToday, and it’s always a thrill to see your headline on popular websites like these.
These paid sites also offer additional features to enhance your release, like:
- Hyperlinks in the release
- Social media links
But by far the best feature I’d say paid press release distribution sites offer is reports and analytics. Every time I publish on PRWeb, I can see how many people clicked on the release, where they live, and what sites they came from. This is indispensable information that can help small businesses really understand their audiences and connect with them on the right channels.
Press release distribution is actually pretty affordable and worth the investment.
Image: Karen Eliot (Creative Commons)
Communications Best Practices
Get the latest updates on PR, communications and marketing best practices.
Cision Product News
Keep up with everything Cision. Check here for the most current product news.
Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.
A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.