Press releases have always been an important tool for marketing and public relations pros. By crafting a professional press release and blasting it out to various news media outlets, publicists have a chance at widespread coverage, bringing attention to a new product or service.
But press releases have always been a gamble. Media outlets are usually bombarded with these types of coverage requests, choosing only the few that are interesting enough to catch their attention. However, press releases can get a much broader reach online if done correctly. Many businesses have already discovered the power of services like PRWeb for gaining prominence in search engine results, but PRWeb’s $159 per press release can take a big cut out of your marketing budget, especially if you plan to post more than one. (There’s also a dark side to these services, as one scammer found out when he submitted a phony press release to thousands of news outlets last year.)
For small businesses dealing with budget limitations, there’s fortunately an alternative. A number of free news release services have emerged that can provide a great way to bring visitors to your website. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Online PR Media – One PR firm did a study in which it posted news releases to a variety of free sites and it named this one the best for prominence in Google News results.
- PR Fire – In the same study, this outlet provided the best visibility in Google search results.
- Free-Press-Release – This site has a news-like feel that showcases press releases in a variety of categories. The free service includes ads, but upgraded services are available.
- PRLog – Most of PRLog’s features are free, so it’s definitely worth a shot. You can time-delay your press release, which is great if you have a special event or product release to promote at a later date.
It’s important, in today’s strict search algorithm environment, that no matter what service you use, you create a high-quality, newsworthy press release. If your release looks like nothing more than a cheap shot at getting publicity, Google will disregard you and, even if it doesn’t, web searchers will. The jury’s out on whether paid services like PRWeb or PRLeap, which charges only $79 per release, can get you more coverage. You might try conducting a trial where you post one release to a paid site and the rest to free sites and see for yourself which provides the best results.