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Free Press Release Websites Are Expensive

This article was inspired by a potential customer wondering whether a service that charged $38 to blast his press release to 50 free press release websites was a good use of his money. When you charge someone $449 for a single press release, like we do, it’s hard to say $38 is a waste of money — even when you know it is. However, when you are sending his press release to subscribing journalists and posting over a true Tier-1 newswire (like we also do), $449 looks darn reasonable. Forget the fact that we offer 100 extra words, a free eNewsroom(TM), SEO enhancements, and WireWatch proof distribution.

Yahoo! News … Check. Google News … Check.

Every press release on eReleases.com is not only posted on Yahoo! News, it is streamed on Yahoo! Finance. A search using “eReleases” will pull up our press releases, which are distributed by PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance. Every single press release we distribute can be found there, as well as on Google News.

What About Web Searches?

Search engine visibility is not limited to news searches. Because eReleases permanently hosts press releases (we have over 15,000 on our site), our press releases also come up under web searches as well as news searches. Clients get visitors to their website months and years after distribution. One of our clients gets over 1,800 visitors to their press release each month, and it’s two-and-a-half years since the press release was issued.

Put the “Press” Back in Press Releases

In addition, the core business of eReleases has always been to get the client’s press release directly in front of the media. As a result, every press release is distributed to subscribing journalists and sent through a true newswire (PR Newswire) to virtually every newsroom in the country.

When a Visitor Isn’t a Visitor

If a web surfer views a headline to your press release and visits the press release (which counts as a visit to your website via the iframe to your site on the press release website), did that web surfer ever actually view your website? I have visited lots of press releases and never scrolled down, yet the iframe buried at the bottom of the page loaded the company’s web page and I was counted as a website visitor.

PR Metrics

The only true number and metric is whether you get media pickup and sales as a result of a press release. A press release that doesn’t get picked up by any websites nor any search engines, yet gets a shout out on TechCrunch or the Wall Street Journalist, would be considered extremely effective by any PR practitioner. The resulting traffic and sales would bear this out. I have hundreds of satisfied customers who have achieved millions of dollars worth of publicity for my clients. A press release can have such success only when it is issued on a site whose goal is to reach the media, not to earn money by defacing your news with ads for your competitors.

Backlinks to Your Press Release

The backlinks to your website from the press release provider’s website rarely yields anything more than anecdotal impact on your search engine rankings. The improved search engine rankings usually occurs to the press release provider’s website from backlinks to your press release on its site, which you don’t own or control. It’s a great business model — for the press release provider. You provide the content but the press release website benefits most from any traffic and from the ad revenue.

SEO Eye Candy

Despite my criticism of search engine visibility, iframes, and backlinks, eReleases does have SEO enhancements, iframes, and WireWatch reports showing backlinks to your press release on key media websites. It’s what customers want and cite when comparing press release services. We provide the features because our customers want them but more than 95 percent of a press release’s effectiveness has nothing to do with these features. Relationships and access to journalists will always be where a press release succeeds or fails. It’s this relationship and expertise that makes a great publicist invaluable. It’s where free press release websites will always fail.

My Goal Line Is at the Zero Yard Line, Your Goal Line Involves a Different Sport on a Different Field

Why has search engine visibility become the goal for press releases? Press releases have always been about generating media interest. Most free and low-cost press release services never address distribution of your press release to the media. Reaching 2,000 “cold” visitors that result in no sales is not the same as obtaining a true media pickup where readership can easily total tens of thousands or more. A visitor who stumbles across a headline or web page is a cold lead. They found the headline or press release interesting. Someone who reads an actual article about you or your company and seeks out your website out is a warm lead. I would take one warm lead over one hundred cold leads any day of the week. In the end, it’s about ROI (Return on Investment).

Free Press Releases Serve a Purpose

Don’t get me wrong, free press releases serve a purpose:

  • They provide a futile act of distraction one free press release at a time. You can watch people jumping from one free press release site to another for hours and days.
  • You can see your pay-per-click advertisement on your competitor’s free press release … but they can also put their ad on yours … brilliant! (for the pay-per-click company, and for the free press release site, at least).
  • They cost nothing (except your time – that’s free, right?)

The sad reality is that many smart entrepreneurs (the ones who value their time) will never try press releases again after playing the free press release game, having decided that press releases just don’t work.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.

19 Responses

  1. Marc Harty says:

    Hi Mickie,

    All I can say is great minds must think alike.

    My most recent article on 30MinutePR.com is titled:

    “5 Ways Free Press Release Sites Can Cost You”

    Marc

  2. prfuel says:

    Thanks Marc. Great article. Here’s a direct link for any visitors who want to check it out: http://www.30minutepr.com/5-ways-free-press-release-sites-can-cost-you/

  3. I agree with the article, that there is no such as a free “PR” lunch.

  4. Great article.
    I think the challenges folks face when deciding whether or not to pay for PR include:

    1. You associate “free” PR with the web.
    2. How do you truly measure a Return On Investment to know you received good value if you’ve spent money?
    3. If it was successful; is that repeatable? If it wasn’t successful can you afford to try again?
    4. “Aunt Mary” said it was a waste of money and as we all know so many “Aunt Marys” we tend to believe her rather than the professionals.

    Cheers

  5. Manik says:

    Very Nice Information.

    Thanks

  6. Hi, Mickie:

    I am enjoying the articles you’ve written on PR.
    Appreciate your great customer service and other good tips !

  7. Sava Intl says:

    nice post…its good for paying 399 dollor for PR distribution but in those cases when they are giving good service.

  8. Here is great press release website.

  9. […] companies are cranking out low-quality, uninteresting releases and publishing them on low authority “free” press release websites where they just sit there and do nothing. SEO is important, but never sacrifice quality for the […]

  10. […] Free Press Release Websites Are Expensive […]

  11. I agree that one of the best metrics to use is media exposure and increases in sales. It’s not about the number of links.

  12. Personally im scared of paying for marketing services. I’ll stick with hours of web crawling and promoting. But great article.

  13. James says:

    I’m not so sure about press releases. Do you have any proof that they work?

  14. Sukumar Jena says:

    Great Information .. I am enjoying your information

    Thanks

  15. gahwioehawio says:

    Free Press Release Websites Are Expensive I was suggested this web site by my cousin. You are amazing! Thanks!

    Best Regards Nick

  16. Salvatore Mackowski says:

    I really am impressed with how much you have worked to make this website so enjoyable. Thanks a lot for your effort. Many thanks to the person who made this post, this was very informative for me. Please continue this awesome work.

  17. Totally agree on that! Press release indeed is a great way to explode the exposure of your business!

    I view it in two ways:

    1. Direct traffic from high traffic PR sites that will send us lots of targeted prospect
    2. The SEO value for the anchor text backlinks is just the cream of the cake, which will definitely benefit SEO ranking for long term.

    Press release is one of my best traffic sources!

    Cheers,
    Ming

  18. Tim Sykes says:

    This is a great service and head and shoulders above any other pr services. We going to do some split testing and I think you will definitely come out on top!

  19. Whoever the person who engaged in the online world, already know the greatness YahooNews and GoogleNews. That they always hope to find their web names or link listed in the biggest online news web’s in the world. Why only just dream it? eReleases.com has come to help you and me to publish our press releases to millions of readers around the world.

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