In this article we compare the top press release services, including eReleases, PR Web and PR Newswire, and give you our pick for the best press release distribution service for small businesses. We chose these three to review as they are the most popular press release services on the market today that are in a price range that small business owners can afford.
Best Press Release Service for Small Business Owners: eReleases
We recommend eReleases because they offer the best distribution for the price. Whereas competitors focus primarily on web exposure, eReleases aims to get your story in the hands of qualified journalists. Their service includes distribution through The Associated Press, the PR Newswire network, and their own network of websites and journalists.
|$269 (30% discount included)||$249||$299 (for iReach package)|
|Wire distribution (distribution to top news outlets?)|
|Yes, through Associated Press||No ($369 edition only)||No (PR Newswire members only)|
|Inclusion in Google News & Yahoo! News|
|Large (network of 5,900+ sites, with 100 re-publishings guaranteed)||Largest (sent to 30,000+ bloggers and journalists)||Medium (network of 1,400+ sites)|
|SEO “Do-Follow” Links (makes it easier to find your press release in the search engine)|
|Photo or Video Included?|
|Free to include a link to your photo|
Additional $150 to embed a photo
Additional $200 to embed a video
|Free to attach a photo|
Video included in premium package ($369)
|Photo and video included with premium package ($399)|
|Additional Fee ($300)||Additional Fee ($325)||Not Available|
Best Press Release Service for Small Businesses: eReleases
If you want to get news coverage, eReleases appears to be able to generate real interest among reporters leading to stories and mentions in articles. Their website is full of recent testimonials from companies that used their service and were able to generate meaningful media coverage as a result.
What’s their secret? EReleases is a reseller of PR Newswire, which is one of the primary sources of information for journalists. Therefore, eReleases is able to offer access to the “premium” network at an affordable price. You will also get inclusion in the wire distribution (through Associated Press) and the eReleases’ own network of websites and subscribing journalists.
While PR Web and PR Newswire offer this same type of distribution through their services, you have to pay much more for the type of coverage that you get with eReleases at a less expensive rate.
Best for Online Exposure: PR Web
If what you care about is the online distribution of your press release only, PR Web is the clear winner. PR Web has the largest website distribution (30,000 + bloggers and journalists), and your press release will appear on dozens of websites and likely be viewed thousands of times.
Soulati Media conducted a head to head comparison of eReleases and PR Web, and PR Web provided far greater online exposure. The press release distributed through PR Web received 57,489 views from a feed or web page and 1,096 reads. This compares to the press release sent through eReleases which only received 2,371 views.
Another Option: PR Newswire
The only thing that really makes iReach from PR Newswire stand out from PRWeb and eReleases is that the image in your press release will be showcased in Times Square if you go with the premium option ($399). Though this is kind of cool, it probably won’t help your business get the kind of media attention or online exposure that you want when submitting a press release through a service.
In-Depth Comparison: eReleases vs. PR Web vs. PR Newswire
All three services have multiple pricing options. In the comparison table above, we used the “middle-tier” pricing option from each firm because we felt that would be the most suitable product for most small business.
Here is a comparison chart of the different price points:
|Features of Least Expensive Option||Guaranteed postings on 75 media sites and press release sent out to 1 targeted industry list||Sent to major search engines and placed on major news sites||Search friendly press release, and posted on Yahoo! Finance|
|Option We Recommend||$269 (30% discount included)||$249||$299|
|Features of Recommended Option||Guaranteed postings on 100 media sites and sent out to 2 targeted industry lists||Base option features + sent to media subscribers and placed on premium and local sites||Press release sent to over 1,400 websites and can include an image|
|Features of Premium Option||Press Release sent to a list of hand selected reporters plus 3 targeted industry lists and postings on 150 media sites||Distribution through Associated Press; include an embedded video||Showcase photo in Times Square; share your image and video across iReach network (network of over 1,400 sites)|
|Learn More||eReleases Pricing||PR Web Pricing||PR Newswire Pricing|
Before the web, wire services were the principal way news stories were distributed to news outlets. A wire service is a news agency like Associated Press that supplies syndicated news by wire to newspapers, radio and TV stations. Today, wire services remain key for reaching newspapers, magazines, and broadcast news desks. While PR Newswire’s iReach and PR Web focus on web distribution, eReleases also includes wire distribution with their package.
PR Web: In order to get national media distribution via The Associated Press, you will need to purchase the premium option at $369.
Inclusion in Google News & Yahoo! News
Most journalists use search engines like Google and Yahoo! News to research stories. This is partially because they can search for certain information, so they are able to get more targeted control over the information they find. Therefore it is a good idea to have your press release listed on these search engines.
All the press release companies we reviewed provide this service. If this is your only goal, there are a number of services such as PR Underground, Send2Press, or SBwire that provide this service for significantly less money. PR Underground, for example, can distribute your article to Google News and 50+ other websites for as little as $39.
Each of these press release services guarantee that your press release will be sent to thousands of websites. The goal is that the website will post your press release, and therefore more people will find and read it. None of the services are forthcoming about which websites the press release will be sent to, but eReleases guarantees that your press release will be posted on 100 media sites.
As we mentioned earlier, if your end goal is online exposure, PR Web boats the largest website distribution, with press releases being sent to over 30,000 bloggers and journalists.
Do Press Releases Provide SEO Value?
The short answer is no, not anymore.
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the process of of optimizing a website so that people can easily find it via search engines like Google. If many good quality websites (such as the Washington Post, or USA Today) link back to your company’s website, this lets search engines know that reputable websites think your site is worthwhile enough to link back to. This increases your ranking on the search engine results page. It use to be that since press releases include links to your business’s website having your press release posted on good quality sites would increase your presence on the search engine results page.
However, in late 2013, Google got wise to these practices and let everyone know that they would potentially penalize websites that were trying to game the system in this way. Under the changes press releases could contain links, but they had to be coded as “no-follow,” meaning that search engines ignore these links. Thus, using a press release will not directly provide any SEO benefits.
This may come as surprise to small business owners, as a number of press release services advertise that their press releases are “SEO optimized” or “SEO friendly”. What they mean is that the press release is coded in a way where if a person types in certain keywords, particularly into Google News, the press release is MORE likely to appear in the results than a non-optimized release. How much more likely? I haven’t seen one company yet give hard numbers. Really, this is an advertising gimmick which press release firms use to trick those that don’t know about the Google changes to think that they are building links to their website by using a press release service.
That being said, press releases do help increase awareness of your company and brand in many ways, just don’t expect websites picking up your press release to directly impact your ranking on the search engine results page.
Photo or Video Included?
Including a visual with your press release is a great way to get people’s attention. Press releases with visuals attract more views and prompt more shares. Therefore, it’s a good idea to include an image with your press release.
They both cost around $300, and eReleases offers a satisfaction guarantee. However, if you have the time, you are probably better off saving your money and writing the press release yourself. For tips on how to write your press release, view our how to guide. If you are having writer’s block and need some ideas, look at these press release examples from the pros.
The Bottom Line
The right press release service will provide access to journalists and websites that small business owners would probably not be able to reach on their own. We recommend eReleases because we believe that they offer the best service for the price. They were created with small business owners in mind, so they understand the needs of small business owners.
Have you used any of these press release services before? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.