The more journalists and media outlets your press release reaches, the better your chances of getting publicity—but paid distribution sometimes comes with a high price tag. For startups and small businesses on a tight budget, using one of the best free press release distribution services will help you get exposure without the big investment. Based on use cases, here are the seven best free press release distribution platforms to increase media visibility and get your story more reach.
- PRLog: Best free press release distribution services for small businesses
- openPR: Great free Google News distribution for businesses seeking mass promotion
- OnlinePRNews.com: Ideal for business looking for free publishing of short-term releases
- 1888 PressRelease.com: Top free press release service for search engine distribution
- PR.com: Best for businesses needing free industry targeting for a published release
- NewswireToday.com: Best free press release distribution platform for nonprofits
- IssueWire: Excellent free premium-quality press release distribution for one-time press release
Whether you use one as a supplement to paid distribution or your budget requires the use of free press release distribution services, here are our top recommendations:
1. PRLog: Best Free Press Release Distribution Service for Small Businesses
PRLog provides free press release submission to search engines and RSS feeds. They also provide a free press room where you can host all your company’s press releases, and journalists can follow you to receive your latest press releases. PRLog’s free press release distribution includes written and video press releases as well as the ability to have links in your press release.
Apart from the free distribution services, there are three pricing tiers on PRLog: Basic, Premium, and Premium 2, ranging from $29 to $99. Additional features are included in each tier, such as more tag or location listings, Google News distribution, in-depth analytics, and search-optimized photos. All paid plans also gain access to an ad-free platform and include targeted industry distribution.
2. openPR: Best Free Google News Distribution
openPR is a close second to PRLog’s free press release distribution service—if not for its single monthly press release limit. One of the platform’s highlights is its free distribution to Google News, search engines, and RSS feeds—a feature most platforms charge extra for.
Free press release distribution includes links, images, and a free banner ad on the openPR website. Press releases are readily available to journalists and the public upon publication, and solid analytic tools are available to track their reach.
Press release deletion or corrections are charged at $10 per release. However, more credits can be purchased to increase the number of press releases you can send monthly. An additional credit equivalent to one press release is priced at approximately $22.
3. OnlinePRNews.com: Best for Free, Short-term Release Publishing
OnlinePRNews.com’s free plan offers the ability to publish a press release for 90 days on Online PR Media. Paid plans range from $22 for social media distribution to $549 per video press release, depending on your needed features.
Free plan features include adding a page title and meta tags reflecting your headline and summary, a downloadable PDF of your release, and a live URL link to your release. Paid plans include video and social media releases, multimedia embedding, social media posts, partner site publishing, and performance tracking.
4. 1888 PressRelease.com: Best for Distribution to Search Engines
1888 PressRelease offers both free and paid plans. The free plan allows you to distribute your press release to search engines, newswires, and websites for free. The main objective of this service is to give your news additional visibility in search engines.
1888 PressRelease’s paid plans range from $15 to $249 per press release distribution. Paid plans include added features like enhanced PR distributions for greater reach, a company profile page, premium partner distribution, free video creation, and the ability to add tags and keywords to your release.
5. PR.com: Best Free Industry Targeting for a Published Release
PR.com offers paid and free press release distribution plans. The free plan includes up to 10 targeted industries and three regional locations, publishing on PR.com, keyword optimization, and file attachments for adding a video, image, or other media types to your release.
Clickable hyperlinks in media or text are an additional $29.95 fee per link. Next-day or same-day distribution is available for an added fee of $100 or $300, respectively. Paid plans include an embedded image, distribution in addition to publishing on PR.com, and an added number of industries to target.
6. NewswireToday.com: Best for Wide RSS Feed Reach for Nonprofits
NewswireToday.com’s free plan offers distribution to around 2,000 basic RSS feeds. However, this comes with a huge caveat―it’s only available to nonprofit organizations. Another downside is that it displays third-party ads, and you can’t choose your publishing date. Paid plans range from $199 to $399 per release and include added features like logo uploads, the ability to specify a publication date, and same-day distribution.
7. IssueWire: Best for One-time Free Press Release Distribution
IssueWire allows marketers to submit a press release on their site only for the first press release. Nevertheless, it is a decent free plan with embedded media options, social sharing, mobile distribution, and advanced targeting at no cost. However, its biggest restriction is that the free press release distribution service does not index on major search engines and distribute to RSS feeds—features that are present on other press release websites on this list.
There are two pricing tiers starting at $21 per press release. Paid features include extensive media distribution, newswire distribution for premium tiers, guaranteed Google index, and promotion. IssueWire’s paid distribution services are known for their affordable rates for large-volume distribution. In addition, press release writing services can be purchased at a low cost—$25 for a 500-word release.
Top Alternatives to Free Press Release Distribution Services
Free press release distribution can get more exposure for your story, but free services have shortcomings. For example, they generally don’t include guaranteed placements or distribution to major news sites and media outlets. For maximum exposure and publicity, it’s best to use free distribution in conjunction with paid press release services. By tackling your distribution from multiple angles, you give your press release the most opportunities to earn press coverage.
Here are the best alternatives to free press release sites:
- EIN Presswire: Best for affordable, mass, and targeted press release distribution. Plans start at $99.95 per release and include distribution to the Associated Press newswire (AP newswire).
- eReleases: Best for reaching the largest network of U.S.-based media, from $399 per release. Professional press release writing services are also available and can be bundled with your plan.
- Newswire: Best for multilayer targeting to reach niche audiences, outlets, and journalists, with plans starting at $349 per release. With Newswire, you can geo-target journalists and outlets, so your release will be distributed to media located in your desired area. In return, this makes your press release more relevant, interesting, and likely to land press coverage.
- Linking News: Best for affordable, white-labeled press release distribution to make your brand look big. For just $159, you can get your press release professionally distributed—with no other branding on it—making it ideal for those wanting to build a stronger brand presence.
Paid vs Free Press Release Distribution Services Compared
$21-$499 per release
Limited outlets, and some with limited publication (e.g., 90 days)
Massive reach across thousands of international, national, and regional digital and traditional outlets (TV, print, radio, digital)
No performance reporting
Comprehensive analytics reports
Quality of Newswire
Press release publishing on low-quality sites rather than distribution to premium outlets
Direct email lists with millions of journalists and influencers and subscribing journalists who look to the newswire as a key source of stories
Ease of Use
The Truth About Free Press Release Distribution Services
Free distribution platforms might get your press release into some media outlets, but its reach will be limited and may not get your news in front of potentially interested journalists or your target audience. Because of this, we recommend using an affordable press release distribution service like EIN Presswire or a service like Newswire that offers multilayered targeting, and free distribution as a supplemental resource for added reach.
Want to be sure your press release is media-ready? Before sending it to journalists or distributing it with a distribution service, double-check that it follows the industry standard guidelines on how to write a press release.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do you distribute press releases?
Press releases can be distributed in several different ways. You can use a distribution service to send your release to thousands of digital, print, television, and radio outlets, and directly to journalists by email. You can also distribute your news by hand-picking journalists, locating their email addresses, and emailing your story to them manually.
Finally, you can use new media for distribution by writing and posting a social media press release or running a targeted ad for your press release on social networks. Follow the step-by-step instructions on how to send a press release.
How much does paid press release distribution cost?
Paid press release distribution services costs range from around $21 to over $1,000. Your expenses can vary widely depending on the platform you use and what added features you take advantage of, like targeted placements and direct emails to journalists. However, if you have a media contact list, it’s completely free to email your release directly to journalists. We recommend you send your release to your media contacts and use a distribution service for broader exposure.
Where can I get a free press release template?
You can get a free press release template here on our website. Read our step-by-step guide on how to write a press release and download our free press release template to use as you follow along step by step. It follows the press release format that journalists expect and offers tips to help you write a story worthy of additional media coverage.
Free press release distribution services are often used by small businesses with little budget but a big need to get a news story out. But remember, the reach your story will get with free services will be limited, especially compared to what you get with paid distribution plans. Your story will also be hosted on a site that displays ads and press releases from other companies, which can detract from your efforts to build brand awareness and credibility.
Rather than relying on free services, ensure your story gets into the hands of the journalists most likely to want to cover your news and the audience you want to reach with a service like Newswire. Newswire guarantees mass placements and includes multilayer targeting to give your press release the exposure it deserves.