Getting your story out to the media and public on a slim budget can be difficult, but there are free press release distribution services available to help. Plus, using a free service in conjunction with paid distribution can be a great way to get even more reach for your story (and thus more brand clout). Here are the best platforms to consider.
- PRLog: Best free press release distribution services overall
- OpenPR: Free Google News distribution
- IssueWire: One-time free press release
- OnlinePRNews.com: Free short-term publishing
- 1888PressRelease.com: Best for search engine distribution
- PR.com: Free industry targeting
- NewswireToday.com: Best for nonprofits
NOTE: Free platforms offer limited reach and virtually no targeting, so your story might not get to the journalists or readers you want to reach. Instead, consider using a low-cost press release distribution service like EIN Presswire for guaranteed placements, direct-to-journalist emails, and targeting (and use free distribution as a supplemental resource for added reach).
Whether you use one as a supplement to paid distribution or your budget requires the use of a completely free service, here are our top recommendations:
PRLog: Overall Best Free Press Release Distribution Services
PRLog is our choice for best overall free press release service. It places your announcement with search engines and RSS feeds. It also provides a free press room where you can host your company’s press releases. This enables interested journalists to follow you to receive your latest press release. PRLog includes both written and video news releases. You can even include links in your press release, which is a premium service from some competitors.
In addition to the free services, PRLog offers three paid plans. Each upgrade includes additional features, such as more tag or location listings, Google News distribution, in-depth analytics, and search-optimized photos. They also include access to an ad-free platform, as well as targeted industry distribution.
Pro tip: To choose the best option for distribution, learn more about what a press release is and get tips for sending out your story.
OpenPR: Free Google News Distribution
OpenPR would likely have beaten PRLog as the best free press release distribution service were it not for its single monthly press release limit. Of course, if you only send media announcements infrequently, this might not be an issue for you.
Free submission to Google News, search engines, and RSS feeds are some of the platform’s highlights, and those are features most platforms charge extra for. OpenPR’s inclusion of these features makes it a great way to grow your brand presence online.
Free distribution with OpenPR includes links, images, and a free banner ad on the OpenPR website. Press releases are available to journalists and the public immediately upon publication, and solid analytic tools help you keep track of their reach.
The downside of OpenPR is that it charges $10 per release for deleting your press release or corrections to it. You can also send more than one press release per month if you purchase credits. An additional credit equivalent to one press release is approximately $22.
IssueWire: Best Site for One-time Free Press Release Distribution
IssueWire makes our list of the best free press release sites because even though it’s primarily a paid service, it allows marketers to submit one free press release. Your free version includes embedded media, social sharing, mobile distribution, search engine optimization (SEO), and advanced targeting. However, the free press release notably lacks indexing on major search engines and distribution to RSS feeds, two features that are standard inclusions in other press release websites.
IssueWire offers paid tiers starting at just $21 per release, which is quite affordable for a paid media release. Paid features include some media and newswire distribution (though not nearly as extensive as EIN Presswire) and guaranteed Google indexing. In addition, professional press release writing services are available for as little as $25 for a 500-word press release.
Another factor to consider here is which solution to choose based on the topic of your announcement. Read our list of different types of press releases for tips on how to get the most exposure for your story.
OnlinePRNews.com: Best for Free Short-term Publishing
If your small business just needs a temporary press release issued (like for an event), OnlinePRNews.com will publish your press release for free for 90 days on Online PR Media. Free plan features include adding a page title and meta tags to reflect your headline and summary, a downloadable PDF of your release, and a live URL link to your press release.
Paid plans range from $22 for social media distribution to $549 per video press release, depending on your needed features. Paid plans include video and social media releases, multimedia embedding, social media posts, partner site publishing, and performance tracking.
1888PressRelease.com: Free Distribution to Search Engines
Distribute your press release to search engines, newswires, and websites for free with 1888PressRelease. With the free plan, you can increase visibility on search engines, which makes 1888PressRelease a great addition to paid press release distribution services.
Paid plans include added features like enhanced distributions for greater reach, company profile pages, and premium partner distribution. They also come with free video creation and the ability to add tags and keywords to your release.
PR.com: Best Free Industry Targeting for Press Releases
PR.com provides a free service for distributing press releases that includes industry targeting. The free plan includes targeting up to five industries and three geographic regions. Additionally, you get publishing on PR.com, keyword optimization for SEO, and file attachments for adding video, images, or other types of media to your release.
While you can publish a release for free on PR.com, including a link back to your website or landing page costs $29.95 per link. Next-day or same-day distribution is available, but same-day distribution is far more expensive than same-day distribution from a provider like EIN Presswire. With paid plans from PR.com, you can embed an image, distribute your press release, and target additional industries.
NewswireToday.com: Best Service for Nonprofits
Nonprofit organizations looking to get the word out about news or developments can tap into NewswireToday.com’s free press release distribution, which sends your press release to more than 2,000 RSS feeds. This plan is only available to nonprofit organizations, however. Also, the free distribution displays third-party ads, and you cannot choose your publication date.
Paid plans from NewswireToday.com include added features like logo uploads, the ability to specify a publication date, and same-day distribution. However, starting from $199 per release, these plans are more costly than similar services from EIN Presswire and Newswire.
Want to be sure your press release is media-ready? Before sending it to journalists or distributing it with a distribution service, make sure you follow industry standards on how to write a press release.
Best Alternatives to Free Press Release Sites
Using free press release sites can help garner publicity, but they have some serious shortcomings. They lack guaranteed placements, direct-to-journalist emails, advanced targeting, and distribution to major news sites and media outlets. Plus, you can expect your story to compete with many ads, which doesn’t give your brand the spotlight and could even detract from your credibility.
Here are the best alternatives to free options:
From $99.95 for one release (or $40 each for bundle of 25)
From $399 for distribution (add writing for $300)
Paid vs Free 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) and permanent hosting to increase brand visibility
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
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Press releases can be distributed through paid services that send your announcement to thousands of digital, print, television, and radio outlets, and directly to journalists by email. You can send press releases directly to journalists by obtaining their email addresses and sending a pitch manually. You should also share your news with your own email marketing contact list and on social media.
Paid press releases distribution ranges from $20 to $1,000. Costs vary depending on the platform you use and added features 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.
You can get a free press release template here on our website. Our step-by-step guide on how to write a press release includes a download to use as you follow the guide. It follows the press release format journalists expect and offers tips to help you write a story worthy of additional media coverage.
Free press release distribution services are a good tool for small businesses with little or no budget. However, the reach of your story will be more limited than what you get with a paid plan. You’ll also have to contend with ads, which could detract from your message.
Rather than relying on free services, get your release in front of the journalists who are most likely to cover your story with a paid service like Newswire. Newswire guarantees mass placements and includes multi-layer industry and geo-targeting to give your release the exposure it deserves.