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60+ Free Press Release Distribution Services…Really?

I recently stumbled upon a blog post about “60+ Free Press Release Distribution Sites” (from the PR In Your Pajamas blog). The headline took me by surprise – I had no idea there were that many different free press release distribution options out there. And in truth, it was a little disturbing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard of about six of the 60+ services referenced in the post, and some of them could be useful for SEO purposes, but I doubt many of the services would help you generate much favorable media coverage. At least not in any credible media outlets. In conversation after conversation with journalists, I consistently hear about how bad the press release problem is: journalists and bloggers receive too many releases, and most of those releases are poorly written or off-topic (I’m being nice in my paraphrasing here).

If you’re just starting a new website, and you’re desperate to increase the number of inbound links you have (an important factor in determining the relevancy of your Web content – as far as search engines go), these services could give you a jumpstart. I would only consider them useful for this tactic alone. If you’re looking for a service to support your media relations efforts, I would lean towards a more modern, reputable and social media-friendly distribution service like PRWeb or PitchEngine. The latter offers a FREE option, as well as several very-affordable options for distributing your news across media and social media channels.

Now there may be some services on the 60+ list worth trying out, but in my experience trying several of the services (for SEO purposes), they are really just SEO spam tools – designed to mass-distribute your content across a bunch of different sites, many of which will do little to help you reach your target audiences or boost your search engine rankings.

Finally, if you’re serious about using a press release as a media relations tool, use a proven distribution channel to get the word out. If the press release doesn’t merit distribution on a mainstream service, consider not sending the release out at all. You’ll do more harm than good by sending out PR spam. That’s my two cents on the topic.

Now in defense of the PR in Your Pajamas blog, there is always good content there, geared towards the “Time-Strapped, Cash Crunched Mom Entrepreneur.” If you’re looking for great advice on PR for your small business, this is a good blog to follow.

Have you used any of the free press release services listed in the post and had a great experience? Are there other services you suggest for low-budget PR? Let us know.

About Jeremy Porter

Jeremy Porter is co-founder and editor of Journalistics, a lively blog about public relations and journalism topics.

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  • http://www.PRinYourPajamas.com Elena

    Hi Jeremy

    I agree with you that most press releases are poorly written. In fact, I’ve encouraged small businesses and entrepreneurs not to bother writing a press release and instead find the right media contact to send a relevant – and short – pitch to.

    I think press releases for small businesses are now written to be geared to speak to their target customer instead of journalists- thus when they use these free sites to increase their SEO, hopefully it drives click throughs and sales for them. At the end of the day, small businesses need their marketing efforts, whether advertising, PR or SEO to drive sales or they will have to close their doors.

    Thanks for referencing my post!

    Elena

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  • amy

    uh, i just signed up for pitchengine, and the site is very badly designed
    1) no way to know what *exactly* you’re getting
    2) pricing is buried
    3) after registering, then what? has this page with your information but no “next” or anything. Do I login? Am I logged in? it’s confusing
    4) no about us/ faq etc.

    If they are looking only to sell word of mouth then fine but otherwise I would have taken one look at this site, been confused, and assumed they were either amateurs or hiding something, and left.

    I’ll give them a try b/c they have a 30 day trial during which I can cancel, but if anyone from there reads this – seriously get on the ball. Have someone who’s never looked at your site before do a user acceptance test.

    • Jeremy Porter

      Amy: sorry to hear you had a bad experience with PitchEngine. While I’m not affiliated with PitchEngine, I can name several dozen of my peers that are using the service – and all of whom love it. This is the first negative feedback I’ve heard.

      I’ve personally used the service and found it very useful for communicating news across social media channels. While you can accomplish many of the same results with a blog (provided you have a lot of traffic), few people have this option.

      PitchEngine works very well for larger, more established brands (which represents the majority of their named customers). I would suggest reaching out to them directly. Through my experience, they take user feedback very seriously and are very responsive. I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a positive opinion about their service after getting some help.

      I can’t help you much beyond that. I would suggest commenting or providing feedback through the resources they provide on their site. Best of luck!

  • Jeff

    Very popular press release submission site is http://www.1888pressrelease.com

  • Jeff

    i have been used for this site from long time, 1888PressRelease.com

  • http://www.jewelora.com/ jewelora

    I am now find the free press release website,i use the keyword “submit free press release” to search in google,I think almost the all press release sites have been found by me but I still need more.Do you any good suggestions and some resource about it?

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