March 5, 2010

Make Sure Your Press Release Gets Read


Hostway Team

By Monique Martin

Press releases are an integral part of any good marketing plan. A quality press release enhances your business’s credibility and can be a great source of targeted traffic. The key to press release success is distribution. The wider you cast your your distribution net, the better. But, if you’re a small business, how do you get your press release seen?

Write a Good Release

Make it newsworthy. Press releases that are thinly disguised advertisements won’t be picked up. Pick an angle and tell your story as if you were a newspaper reporter.

Remember your audience. You’re writing for both reporters and end users. Make your press release a good story, so it’s more likely to be picked up, but keep it informative and compelling for the end user.

Use a strong headline. Make sure your headline stands out and tells your story. Also, be sure to use proper press release format.

Pay Press Release Sites

The best way to distribute your press release online is through one of the many pay press release distribution sites. Here are five of the most popular.

  • PR Newswire – Pricing depends on geographical area. National releases start at $645. It also offers “microlists” for targeted distribution to niche channels.
  • PRWeb –Standard visibility package, which includes sites like Google and Yahoo!, starts at $80.
  • BusinessWire – It’s free to sign-up for an account. Pricing varies by length and distribution channel. The service also offers tools to help with keywords and SEO for your press release.
  • MarketWire – Distribute your press release by region, industry or niche market. Contact for pricing.
  • Online PR News – They offer a free press release option, but it’s pretty minimal. Pay services range from $12-$349.

Free Press Release Sites

They say you get what you pay for, and it’s true of press release distribution sites, too. There are quite a few “free” press release Web sites, but, unfortunately, they don’t usually deliver much of a punch. Major news sites are fickle about carrying stories from them. Some sites will only host the release for 30 days. Many claim a wider distribution than they deliver. Free is, however, awfully appealing to a small business with an even smaller marketing budget. If you decide to go this route, here are a few to take a flier on.

In addition to standard press release sites, you should target your industry. Look for Web sites that specialize in your area of expertise. Many will post or distribute your press release if it’s on topic. And, don’t forget to post your press release on your own Web site.

About the Author

Monique Martin served as Chief Operating Officer for a successful online insurance marketing firm for five years.

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