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PR Distribution Services Explained
Many people assume that press releases are simply published “as is” on websites around the Internet. And, while it is true that some websites simply act as repositories of these press releases without changing their overall content, the superior outcome is if the press release is actually converted into a story in a media outlet.
1. Why press releases?
In the old analog era, press releases were the only way for companies and businesses to communicate with the media. If they wanted to announce a new product, a new business unit or a new hire in the executive ranks, then they would issue a brief press release (typically anywhere from 350 to 700 words) that would communicate all the essential features of the story. Moreover, they would be sure to provide necessary information – such as the names of key executives and the relevant contact information for these executives. Based on this information, the media publication would be able to write a story about the company.
In the digital era, press releases serve the same purposes. Even in the age of mobile, email, Facebook and Twitter, companies need a standardized way of communicating with the media. Thus, modern digital press releases include all the same information as press releases from the earlier analog era, but with a few extras. For example, they sometimes include multimedia assets (photos, videos and infographics). They also include all the relevant information about how to find out more about a company, such as the website address, Phone Number, Email ID, and links to social media account.
But, as you can see, press releases still serve the same purpose: they link companies with media outlets and journalists. And, in order to make this communication as seamless as possible, they rely on storytelling and narratives. For example, it is not just enough to announce, very matter-of-factly, that you have released a new product. You must also explain why the story is important, why it is relevant, and why readers will care. Here, it is often useful to position any event you are highlighting in a press release as part of a larger trend or story. This maximizes the chances that the press release will eventually be converted into an article in the mainstream media.
Press Release Sample:
This is what a press release usually looks like, visit this link.
Press Release Examples:
In this website, you will find examples of real press releases.
2. What’s the purpose of a press release?
The primary purpose of a press release is to increase the visibility of companies across the media. Since press releases come in a very standardized format, it is relatively easy for media companies to adapt and transform these into articles, features or news highlights. The earliest press releases were intended to invite members of the media to an upcoming event, such as a new product release or an industry trade show.
In the digital era, however, press releases now often function as stand-alone articles. That’s because online media companies have nearly unlimited inventory for news articles, and it’s not uncommon for journalists to use these press releases as the primary basis for their stories. All the key details needed to write a good story – the what, why, when, and where of a story – are all contained in a high-quality press release.
3. What is a Press Release Distribution Service?
In many ways, you can think of the press release as a series of facts, statistics, numbers and details that can be used by writers and journalists to create a very interesting story. Many journalists, after receiving a particularly noteworthy press release, will reach out directly to any people listed as contacts on the press release. They might call and ask a series of questions to clarify any issues, or they might actually arrange a formal interview to find out more.
That’s why it is important to hire a good press release distribution service that can ensure as wide a reach as possible for your news release. An ideal PR distribution service helps your press release make its way to a variety of news organizations (both national and local), magazines, newspapers, journalists, bloggers and other media professionals.
4. When is a press release officially “news?”
With blogs and social media, the line between “press release” and “news” has been blurring. At one time, only media companies (such as newspapers and magazines) and news agencies (such as Reuters or the AP) had access to press releases. Now, however, it is possible to offer press releases to bloggers and social media personalities. Instead of the mainstream media deciding what “news” is it’s now up to the Internet as a whole to decide what news is.
This blurring of the line between “old media” and “new media” has really increased the value of the press release in the modern digital era. With a press release, you can provide access to millions of people around the world, regardless of geography or language. If a company or business has a compelling story to tell, you can be assured that it will be picked up somewhere and transformed into news.
5. Press Releases vs. Blog Posts.
Some people ask the question: “So, how is a press release different from a blog post or article?” In many ways, this question can be answered by looking at the format of a press release. Every press release follows a relatively common template – there is a brief introduction of the news item, a series of supporting paragraphs that explain the who, what, why, when, and where of the event, and then a final section with relevant contact information. All of the information is factual.
Now contrast that format to the format of a blog post. A blog post is often very casual, is designed to appeal to people who already know about a company (such as existing customers), and does not follow any set template. Sometimes, a blog post is just an image and then a few lines of explanation or text. Other times, a blog post is a long, rambling and detail-filled article that can run for 1,000 or even 10,000 words.
Also, think about distribution and not just content. A press release is specifically distributed to people who can bring news about your company to a much wider audience. A blog post is designed, first and foremost, only to be distributed to people already following a company.
6. What are the benefits of press release distribution service for your business?
Companies in any niche, sector or industry can use press releases. In fact, you do not even have to be a company to issue a press release; you can also use press releases if you are a professional, nonprofit institution, an educational institution or any other organization. That being said, there are several very important advantages and benefits of using press releases.
- Brand awareness and visibility
- Distribution and reach
- Credibility and authority
Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits…
Brand awareness and visibility – First and most importantly, you can increase the visibility and brand awareness of your company. This is true of any organization, regardless of size or how long it has been in operation. The fact of the matter is that many media outlets and journalists can’t keep up with all of the information that they receive. Moreover, they are often under strict timelines to create stories and develop articles. Thus, they are very much looking forward to receiving press releases about important stories and concepts. And they will choose the best ones to develop into stories. With just a single press release, then, you might be able to reach audiences of tens of thousands of people. If a national media outlet chooses your story, you might reach an audience of millions of people.
Distribution and reach – Another key factor is the ability to distribute your stories across different platforms. In today’s digital world, there are many different platforms that need content – not just websites, but also blogs, social media, podcasts, and vlogs (video blogs). Everyone is looking for new content to stand out in a very crowded and competitive field. Thus, the relatively standardized format of a press release makes it very easy to share across all these different platforms to different content creators.
Credibility and authority – Finally, consider the impact of press releases on credibility and authority in your industry. Just think of the impact if people see your company mentioned in newspapers or magazines – or if they see your company mentioned on TV during a news broadcast. It helps to establish your reputation in the field.
Best of all, press releases are relatively affordable and cost-effective. If you compare them to other forms of marketing – such as launching a long and costly advertising campaign – you can immediately see why so many businesses have embraced the press release as an important way to communicate and connect with the external world. There is simply no better ROI for your marketing investment.
7. Press releases and the role they play in SEO!
One of the keys to understanding the Google search algorithm is “authority.” In short, Google rewards those sites that rank highly in terms of authority. And the way that Google determines this key factor is by seeing how many other websites are talking about you and mentioning you. Backlinks – web links that point back to your company – are one important way to measure this.
And that’s where press releases matter so much. Every time a journalist creates a story about your company, he or she is creating a series of backlinks that reference your company. Even if your press release is published “as is” on a third-party website, you are creating backlinks. That, in turn, leads to more traffic to your website and even better Google search rankings.
Keeping SEO in mind, that’s why every press release needs to be optimized in terms of keywords. However, keep in mind that by keywords, we are not referring to hyperlinked keywords. Rather we are referring to placement of target keywords in press release Title and Body. In order for Google to find your press release, it also relies on the presence of keywords. For that reason, it’s important to think about ways that people are searching for your business (and businesses just like yours) online. For example, if customers are using searches like “restaurants near me,” then you will immediately see that you need to include geographic keywords (such as the name of your city or region) in your press release.
Combined together, these factors are able to optimize your ranking in key search algorithms, including the Google search algorithm.
8. Should you use a press release?
The answer is simple: “Yes.” Press releases have proven their worth over decades. They are the most popular and effective way for companies, organizations and entities to get their stories heard by the media. Press releases will help you reach your business goals, such as selling more products or reaching a bigger audience with your brand story. When it comes to building awareness, improving visibility, establishing credibility and authority, and improving overall SEO ranking, there is no better solution than the modern digital press release.