PR agencies versus paid-for press release sites

When looking to release information for PR purposes, it can be tempting to use paid-for press release services on the Internet to reach journalists.

The appeal of these sites is the relative ease with which you can contact the media, without having to do extensive research on your target publications. It seems very simple: just pay your price, submit a press release to the website, and it is immediately sent out to press contacts in the sectors that you select.

However, the old adage of “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is” comes to mind with these paid-for news wire sites. Below we discuss the particular differences between the two routes for starting your PR campaign.

Cons of a free press release site:

  • There are hundreds of press releases submitted to these types of sites daily, which means that your news might be lost amongst the multitude of similar news items. Your news needs to be unique to get the attention of journalists, so you might want to reconsider that press release submission.
  • The non-specific approach of these newswire sites means that the large swathes of media contacts are at once, without any personalisation whatsoever. Journalists receive hundreds of press releases during their working week, and are more likely to discard those which have not been tailored to specifically to them or their publication.
  • The media contacts that these free press release sites have may well be completely out of date. Publications are constantly changing their staff members, and their contact details are likely to change on a frequent basis. It seems a waste of time and effort to send a press release through these types of sites with no guarantee of whether they will actually reach their target destination.

Pros of a PR Agency:

  • A PR agency has built many media contacts over time and has established relationships with journalists and bloggers. This means that when a PR consultant contacts a journalist, it is more likely that the news they are promoting is going to be taken seriously, leading to a higher chance of the news being published.
  • PR agencies have researched exactly which journalists and publications will suit your news, rather than sending out your press release to a generic set of media representatives. This gives PR agencies a distinct advantage over free press release websites.
  • The press release itself will be specifically crafted to promote the best aspects of your company and the news you are trying to get published. The professional expertise in creating catchy press releases and news hooks simply can't be replicated by free press release sites.
  • With a PR agency, you are paying for the years of expertise and the particular contacts of the consultants working there. Your PR representative’s sole purpose is to ensure you get the return on investment that you have put into your campaign. By choosing to use a free website, the return on investment will likely not be as significant as when you hire a PR agency.

With all the above being said, there is one particular bonus if you choose to use a free press release site. For SEO purposes, press releases put through free sites might help the promotion of your website on search engine results pages by creating positive back links. Be warned, though: whilst this can be useful, it might damage the chances of your news being published by the media, so it is wise to choose the approach that will best suit your company’s needs.

If you’d like a consultation for generating press releases or creating a targeted PR strategy, get in touch with Rosa PR and we'll give you a proposal and quote that meets your needs.

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