The more journalists and media outlets your business press release reaches, the better your chances of getting publicity. So for added exposure without a big investment, we found the five legit and truly free press release distribution services to give your press release even more media visibility and better odds of success.
Here are the best free press release distribution services:
- PRLog: Best free press room for business press releases
- OnlinePRNews.com: Best for free, short-term release publishing
- 1888PressRelease.com: Best for free search engine distribution
- PR.com: Best for free industry targeting for a published release
- NewswireToday.com: Best for wide RSS feed reach for nonprofits
Before sending your press release to the media or distributing it through one of the best free press release distribution services, double-check that it follows the industry standard guidelines on how to write a press release.
The Truth About Free Press Release Distribution Services
While free press release distribution services may get your press release in front of media outlets, even the best services are limited and may not get your story in front of the journalists who will actually be interested in what you have to say or can help you reach your target audience. Therefore, as enticing as using a free service may be, it is worth considering if a paid service might earn you a better return on the investment of your time and effort.
You can find out more about the overall top distribution services in our article on the subject, or continue reading to learn more about the five best free press release distribution services:
1. PRLog: Overall Best Free Press Release Distribution Service
PRLog provides free press release submission to search engines and RSS feeds. They also offer a free press room where you can host all of your company’s press releases. Journalists can follow you to receive your latest press releases. Free press release distribution includes written and video press releases, and the ability to have links in your press release.
2. 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. Their plans range from free to $549 per release, depending on the features you need.
Free plan features include adding 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.
3. 1888PressRelease.com: Best for Distribution to Search Engines
1888PressRelease offers both free and paid plans. The free plan offers the ability to distribute your press release to search engines, newswires, and websites for free. The main objective of this service is to give your news visibility in search engines.
1888PressRelease’s paid plans range from $15 to $249 per press release distribution. Paid plans include added features like enhanced distribution for greater reach, a company profile page, premium partner distribution, free video creation, and the ability to add tags and keywords to your release.
4. PR.com: Best for Free Industry Targeting for a Published Release
PR.com offers paid and free press release distribution plans. The free plan includes up to five targeted industries, publishing on PR.com, keyword optimization, and file attachments for adding a video, image, or other types of media 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 and $300, respectively. Paid plans include an embedded image, distribution in addition to publishing on PR.com, and an added number of industries to target.
5. 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 the 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.
Top Alternatives to Free Press Release Distribution Services for Maximum Coverage
Free press release distribution is a way to get more exposure for your press release. However, free services have shortcomings. For maximum exposure, and with that, publicity, ideally you’ll use free distribution in conjunction with other methods, including paid press release distribution 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 distribution services for landing press:
- Send2Press: Best for affordable, regionally targeted press release writing and distribution. Plans start at $89 per release and each offers free professional proofreading and editing before distribution to more than 6,500 outlets (including print, television, radio, and digital outlets).
- eReleases: Best for targeted distribution by industry and location. Advanced targeting ensures your press release gets to the right people in the right places. While it is one of the best services for maximizing publicity, it’s not cheap at $299 per release.
- Newswire: Best for targeted distribution by location, with plans starting at $199 per release. With Newswire, you’re able to geotarget 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.
- PRWeb: Best for affordable press release distribution services for long-form press releases. For just $99, you can get your press release professionally distributed—with no maximum word count—making it ideal for those with lengthy announcements.
Free vs Paid Press Release Distribution Services Compared
$99-$499 per release
Large reach across thousands of 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
Contact information databases with millions of journalists and influencers (for direct submission purposes); subscribing journalists who look to the newswire as a key source of stories
Ease of Use
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How is a press release distributed?
A press release can (and should) be distributed in several different ways. You can use a distribution service to distribute your release to thousands of digital, print, television, and radio outlets. You can also distribute your press release “manually” by handpicking journalists and emailing it to them.
Finally, you can use news 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 press release distribution cost?
Press release distribution costs range from free to over $1,000 dollars, depending on the distribution process you use and what added features you take advantage of (like embedded multimedia). If you email your release directly to journalists whose audiences are likely to value the story, you can do so for free.
If you want instant reach across thousands of premium outlets (like national television, radio, print, and digital outlets), you could pay between $100 and $1,000 for a typical press release distribution service. We recommend doing both.
Where can I get a free press release template?
You can get a free press release template here on the Fit Small Business website. Read our ultimate press release format guide to download a free press release template in either portable document file (PDF) or Microsoft Word (DOCX) format. After downloading, read through the step-by-step press release writing guide for detailed descriptions and proper use of each template element.
Free press release distribution services are often used by small businesses with little budget but a big need to get a news story out. Sadly, many see little benefit from a free service. A better way to distribute your release is to email it to journalists directly or create a highly targeted ad on a social network like Facebook. For the best results and farthest reach, invest the money to use a paid distribution service like Newswire.