What if you wrote the world’s best news release and no one knew about it?
One of the best ways to assure that people learn about you is to distribute your news over a wire service. Knowing how to use the service is, of course, important.
A wire service electronically sends announcements to print, broadcast and online media outlets. Some services also distribute the releases directly to non-media people who have expressed interest in the topic.
One advantage of using a wire service is that you reach a broad range of people and media outlets quickly and efficiently. That exposure can directly connect you to your target audience. Within 24 hours of distributing their very first release, my client heard from Fidelity Investments. That financial powerhouse signed up for a trial of their service (more than paying for the entire PR program).
I don’t guarantee that Fidelity or its peers will call. But results like that do illustrate the power of wire distribution.
So how do you send a release over the wire? Each service operates slightly differently, but here is a general idea of the process.
- Select a wire service. The primary ones are Business Wire (www.businesswire.com), marketwire (www.marketwire.com), PR Newswire (www.prnewswire.com) and PRWeb (www.prweb.com). The services have slightly different distribution lists, processes and pricing, so check on all of them before deciding which one to use. You might decide to use different services for different distributions.
- After you’ve set up your account, upload your release.
- Specify the distribution list, date and time for the announcement. The distribution can be local, state, national or even international in scope. Prices vary greatly depending on the scope. So, unless your announcement is of general consumer interest, you can probably just distribute it locally.
- As a bonus, you can generally include “trade” or “vertical-market” print, broadcast and online outlets. For example, you could send your release just to New York City and then add healthcare, financial or other media. The distribution to the trade media is national; it is not affected by the geographical distribution.
- You can also include photos, videos and the like. These can greatly enhance the appeal of your release and increase the attention it gets.
- The wire services also offer “SEO enhancements” to improve the keyword ranking of the release. I encourage you to consider these enhancements, especially for significant announcements.
What does all this cost? Most of the primary wire services charge based on the length of the release and the scope of the distribution list. The standard price is usually calculated on a 400-word release, with incremental charges for each additional 100 words. An announcement going solely to the San Francisco Bay Area costs much less than an announcement going to the entire country. (As of this writing, PRWeb does not charge by the length of the release, but only by the distribution.)
The multimedia and SEO services cost extra.
Some wire services check the identity of the person ordering the distribution. If you are using one of those services, you will receive a code by e-mail and a phone call from the service’s representative.
In my next post, I’ll explain what happens on “announcement day.” In the meantime, you can learn more about PR and publicity on my website at www.CommunicationsPlus.net/PRArticles.html.