In my seminar and ebook on shameless self-promotion, I share how I’ve received international media coverage by doing my own public relations. One of my suggestions is to send weekly online press releases because they will boost your search engine rankings and attract reporters and clients. (I am on the first page of Google for my expertise and this is just one of the things I’ve done to make this happen…without using Pay-Per-Click.)
Several fee-based services are available for distribution of your media releases, including: BusinessWire.com, PRWeb.com, PRNewswire.com, BlackPR.com, USAsianWire.com, and HispanicPRWire.com. There are also several free press release distribution services.
In addition to improving your search engine rankings, online press releases could get picked up by Google News and Yahoo News. This is important because 64% of journalists use these two sources for story ideas, 79 percent of journalists find story ideas from newswires in general, and 74 percent from Websites [Arketi 2008]. I started digging more into Google News and Yahoo News and what effect sending an online press release has on it, and which services produced the best results (showing up on the news sites).
In checking the Google News and Yahoo News archives, I discovered that some free press release technologies such as PRLog.com don’t even show up. I also found that although the fee-based service, PRWeb.com, costs less to use than PRNewswire.com per release, it shows up WAY more: 45,200 compared to 14,400. And BusinessWire.com leaves them all in the dust with 161,000 results.
I’m going to have to dig a little deeper to find out what makes one service get so many more results over another. I’m sure it has something to do with the popularity of the sites and how many links there are to the site, but I want to discover other related factors. I’ll update this post when I do.
The service that I use, FastPitchNetworking.com, doesn’t show up either, but it’s terrific for keeping me high in the regular Google search. And I can send as many releases as I want to for one very low monthly fee. I used PRLog.com for the first time last week and am waiting to see how my press release (Email Etiquette in the Workplace Can Reduce the Stress of Email Overload) will place in a standard Google search (that is, not in Google News). This is important because journalists also do regular searches, not just on the news sites.
The bottom line is that before you pay for a wire service, check before you buy. Here’s how.
- Go to http://news.google.com/archivesearch and search for all news releases from the service you’re considering.
- Type the following and replace prweb.com with whatever service you’re considering (see site:prweb.com in the search box. Google will return the press releases on this site only.)
- Then check the total of results.