Paid vs. Unpaid Press Release Distribution

Those of you who post press releases to Business Wire and PR Newswire know that the first replies to hit our email mailboxes are rarely press
inquiries. Yes, we all know it takes more PR muscle and persuasion than
that, but if you’re like me you still eagerly jump to every email ping
that follows your expensive transmission.

But isn’t it true that we are almost always disappointed by the legions of solicitations from the “free” newswires that seem to be in perpetual supply these days? It would be easy to conclude that they are the only ones out there reading our releases off the wires. We know that’s not the case, but gosh they sure are responsive.

Who are these guys, anyway? Why should we trust them with our news? I know a lot of people are wondering the same thing because there’s always inquiries on PR listservs asking what others think about the freebies.

You’ll recognize some of the services that have been around for awhile — PRWeb is one. They’ve got the art of viral marketing down. PRWeb even has a convenient link you can click from their home page to “Tell a friend
about PRWeb,” I know because an acquaintance recently sent me an email
via the link. Interestingly when I clicked on it tonight all I got was
“The page cannot be found.” Hmmm.

Anyone remember Internet Wire?
It was big, and really aggressive in its follow up to the countless releases I put out during the dot-com boom. The first of the genre, I think. I just googled it and came up with this old Clickz article that brought all the memories flooding back. If you follow the link in the article for Internet Wire it leads you to Market Wire.
It looks like it morphed and these guys have found their kitty jar, and
guess what? They’re not cheap! Lest you balk, they provide a convenient
table on their site that compares them favorably to PR Newswire and Business Wire.

Transworldnews — never heard of them before — was the first to send me an email today after my latest press release went out over Business Wire for Ridgecrest Surveys and Computer Troubleshooters USA . They wanted to tell me in their html email solicitation:

“TransWorldNews is currently preparing for its launch. During this phase,
TransWorldNews invites you to post your news stories FREE.” Yeah,
right! And exactly what newsrooms and trade publications subscribe to
their service?

All these choices are rather mind boggling, and would take more time than a working stiff like me has to unearth. I’ll leave it to more inquiring minds to sort out, and continue posting my releases to Business Wire and PR Newswire because I know they have major newsrooms that subscribe.

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