Ask the PR Pro: What’s the best newswire service?

There are three main news release distribution services: PR Newswire, Business Wire and Marketwired. There also are a few reduced-rate distribution services, such as PR Web.

All of these services allow you to distribute news releases to broad or narrow audiences and do a good job of indexing releases on major news outlets, such as Yahoo.

The major newswire services typically charge a flat fee per distribution circuit for up to 400 words, and then an extra fee for every 100 additional words. They allow you to choose a very specific distribution circuit (for example, by state or industry) and offer dozens of combinations. It’s possible to send large distributions or very targeted distributions. There also are add-on services for photos, SEO, advanced reporting and other things. Generally, SEO is the only additional service we purchase for clients.

The best newswire depends on your needs. Before deciding on one, consider the following:

  • What distribution do you need? Does the service have a specific circuit or will you pay for distribution you don’t need?
  • How helpful is the rep? A rep should be able to tell you how to save money while getting good coverage. For example, you may be able to send to a lower cost state circuit and still receive national distribution to Associated Press and other national outlets.
  • What services are included and which are extra? If you send photos or require enhanced SEO services, look for vendors that provide this for the least cost.
  • What security protocols do the services have in place? It’s important to go with a service with strong security, which prevents fraudulent releases from being transmitted.
  • Does the service offer proofreading? It’s always good to have another professional look at your news release to ensure it is typo-free and all the links work.
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