PR Vendors: How to Choose the Best Monitoring, Media Database and Wire Service Options for Your Business (Part III of III)

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PART III: Wire Services

This is part three is a series on “PR Vendors: How to Choose the Best Monitoring, Media Database and Wire Service Options for Your Business.” If you missed “PART I: Social, Online and Traditional Media Monitoring,” or “PART II: Media Databases” check them out now.

Wire services are used to get your release in targeted news rooms all over the country. While not a valid substitution for targeted pitching to your key contacts, it will dramatically help to increase your exposure. Depending on your industry and the importance of a particular news item, there are several different options and price points for news wires.

Free Options

There are several different free options to release your news online. These are great to supplement your wire service or serve as the base of your distribution. Here are some examples of free options:

Free options do have drawbacks though. Most won’t post your news immediately and likely post 3-4 days after you submit your release. Additionally, these free services have a much smaller reach and many don’t allow hyperlinks, which are an important asset in news release. Make sure to not use just any free press release service, as some are link farms and can be harmful to your website’s SEO.

Paid Options

While there are numerous paid wire services available, here are a few tips on how to choose the best wire service and distribution.

For B2B Releases

For general B2B releases, options include Business Wire or Marketwired. If your company or client is a publicly traded company, Globe Newswire (for NASDAQ) or Business Wire (for NYSE) are preferred. These wire services deliver the release to publications that specifically focus on businesses and business growth. Business Wire also has some valuable industry wires within the B2B segment including biosciences, technology, energy and entertainment.

For B2C Releases

For releases that focus on the consumer market, some of the most popular options include PRNewswire and PRWeb. In one instance, we had two similar B2C clients that were both distributing launch releases — one on PRNewswire and one on Business Wire. The B2C news released on PRNewswire garnered significantly more pickups on larger websites that the one released with Business Wire. Obviously, other factors could have affected those results, but in my experience Business Wire is best for B2B and PRNewswire is best for consumer-focused news.

Choosing the correct distribution

After you have selected the wire service, be sure to look at the different distribution options. If it is a local release, you can save money by choosing a city or state wire. If it is a national release with an entertainment focus, you can choose a distribution list that targets the top entertainment markets in the U.S. Researching the reach and demographics of each wire distribution can help you better target your industry and save money on the release.

When budgeting for wire services, make sure to factor in surcharges and word-count overages. For example, Business Wire charges an additional $95 per release and, for many wires, releases with more than 400 words have additional fees attached.

Pro Tip: If you pay for a wire service, make sure that there isn’t an extra cost to release immediately or a requirement to get written approval from the quoted executives. This can delay your release and cause significant frustration in your already busy day. (PRWeb is notorious for both of these offenses!)

Don’t Forget to Pitch your Target Contacts Separately

I just want to reiterate that pitching your target contacts directly should be done regardless of which wire you choose. Just because your release is distributed over a comprehensive wire, doesn’t mean that your target reporter will see it.

Popular Wire Services

My favorite Wire Services

Many times, PR agencies and marketing departments use a wire service and distribution because “it is the one we have always used.” It may be time to re-evaluate what you have been using and review some other options that may be more beneficial for your company or client in 2015.

Every PR department, whether in-house or agency, needs PR vendors to help them more efficiently achieve their goals. It is important to your budget and bottom line to determine the best vendors for your organization. I personally have demoed many of these services, so I would love your feedback and tips as well! Feel free to start the conversation in the comments below!

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