Ever since the dinosaurs roamed the earth us humans have had an voracious appetite for news, rumours and a basic curiosity to find out what is going on around us. As technology has advanced we have been spoiled with information being readily available through the distribution of books, newspapers, telegraph, telegraph, radio and now of course the internet.
We can find out all the latest news from across the globe by searching the internet and in the current “digital age“, we have found that the most widely available and used resource for news information is the newswire. Newswire services are used by bloggers, Journalists media, companies and investors. Many organisations use these newswire services for the distribution of their own press releases and also for catching up with the latest news and updates in their particular industry.
Traditionally PR Agencies sent their well-researched, well-written, most newsworthy Press Releases to Editors and Journalists by post, email and carrier pigeon in the hope that someone, somewhere would look at them and say “WOW!”
Public Relations or Press Relations is a hard slog whatever way you look at it yet PR Agencies are certainly moving with the times and in this technology driven world of forums, websites and the internet the PR Professionals are using every avenue possible to gain as much exposure and press coverage as possible for their clients.
Whilst the popularity of the humble press release has continued to grow and the basic layout and design has pretty much stayed the same, the distribution process has changed rapidly over the course of the past century. Traditionally, newswires have been utilised to distribute press release content – these news agencies are sometimes referred to as wire services or newswire services and are organisations like Associated Press, Dow Jones Newswires and Reuters.
However with everything being done online these days, digital platforms have come to the fore and have in effect redefined and reshaped the distribution of the digital press release.
Savvy Public Relation Professionals and agencies alike tend to use both the free and paid distribution services to circulate their press releases to gain as much exposure as possible. Each service in turn delivers distinct benefits depending on what you are looking for. The paid services make promises of syndication and media placements, whilst the free services tend to secure invaluable web traffic links, which is a must-have these days to ensure a high Google Ranking.
Most newswire services are formulated aimed to give the complete corporate package of information to websites, investors along with other media. The Newswire services don’t differentiate between public and private companies or investor related firms they work for everyone. Companies need to send their news updates to a very targeted audience, in the most effective and quickest manner possible, which is why they turn to the newswire services available as they are able to distribute the information more effectively.
There are numerous methods that newswire services use for the press release distribution. These include internet, satellite as well as individual contacts. The media that use the press release can vary massively in terms of international and national, local areas and also regional. The Newswire services can also publish the press release or news on your own website. By utilising the services that a newswire has to offer you can reach a very large audiences very quickly indeed.
To Pay or Not to Pay … That is the Question
And the answer is …. it depends.
If you are looking to get your press release in front of journalists and editors then relying solely on a free press release distribution service is probably not going to work. Traditional PR methods should never be replaced and one of the best ways to get journalists and editors interested in your news is by way of traditional PR media relations – finding the right journalist, write a fantastic story with no holes in it and then pitch it. Adding your story to a press release distribution site is perfect if you are looking to gain points for Google Rankings, SEO and Website Traffic.
If you have decided that you want to use a newswire service there are plethora of options available to you, both paid and free.
Most of the online services offer a free service but it is just the bare bones and you only really get to copy and paste your news with no links and no images. So you would be much better served with a premium service. Prices for these vary and you have to choose which one will suit you best, dependent on how many press releases you are planning to post and the target audience you are aiming for.
Here are a few things to bear in mind when using Newswire Services:
Depending on who you choose to use, the majority of press releases look as if they take a few days to actually go live on some of the sites, however sometimes it appears that a press release will go live straight away.
Some sites offer the free services with a reasonably priced upgrades which offer you the chance to use more links and add images and the like as well as the ability to archive your press releases.
What Content should you use for newswire?
The first question that should be asked is who actually receives a story from a newswire service? The primary audience is the media community, however distribution has expanded over the past few years and your press release would also reach investors, Internet portals, research and financial databases, information and news sites as well as content syndicates. Individuals can now even sign up to receive news releases in a certain industry or on a certain topic.
What should you send over the wire? When you are deciding whether or not your press or news release should be sent over the wire, bear the following in mind:
- Is there a real value to my news release? If the answer is no then spend less money and restrict the distribution list or you could just post the release to your website.
- What audience should I target? If your press release relates only to a particular industry, geographical area or topic only buy the relevant package for your requirements.
- What are the cheapest ways to reach my target audience?
There are a number of online press release distribution sites that come highly recommended and these include PR Fire, News Wire Today, PR Zoom and Idea Marketers.
When you have posted your news release and it “crosses the wire”, you don’t just sit back and hope for the best, there are ways that you can actually track where it has been picked up. The wire services all offer quantifiable measurement facilities (some paid and some of these are free). Typically, measurement services include the provision of a list of websites and media outlets that have essentially “republished” the news release and reports are accessible so you can monitor who has opened and looked at your release.
There are many PR platforms available on the internet that offer newswire services. They can offer global or just local distribution of your press release. Some newswires are very industry or topically specific and cater only to a small section of society such as science and technology or business newswires. When you are choosing which of the Newswire or PR Platforms to use for the distribution of your press releases and news, make sure you do your homework and pick the one that is most suited to your requirements and business needs.