Press Release FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions

Our Competitors

We never charge a membership fee. Unlike other press release services, we have no hidden charges. Our low prices stay low.

Our low price includes a custom national press release distribution through both Cision PR Newswire and the Associated Press (AP) Newswire for all of our customers. Also, Cision PR Newswire streams our press releases directly to a number of popular websites.

We don’t spam journalists. Our sources have opted to receive our press releases. Beware of press release services who bombard journalists with unwelcome emails: you’ll run the risk of weakening your impact and alienating the very audience you want to impress.

Through our newswire partner, we contact interested journalists directly. We reach more than 94 percent of our sources by name, and send press releases to their personal email addresses. Other press release services simply use a generic “[email protected]” format.

We don’t just send your press release. We send you proof of distribution! As an eReleases customer, you’ll receive a customized WireWatch™ report with links to your press release on as many as 200 media websites, including Yahoo! and PR Newswire.

We’re honest about your chances of success. If it were easy to get press, every company worldwide would be doing it. And PR firms wouldn’t be charging $6,000 a month with no guarantee of coverage. eReleases tells you the truth: your odds of coverage depend on several variables, including newsworthiness, your press release (the hook), timing, and luck.

Very simply, PRWeb/iReach is cheaper because it only reaches online news websites. Unlike eReleases, PRWeb doesn’t distribute your release to the millions of other journalists who work for non-online media.

PR Newswire/Cision owns a web-only press release service (PRWeb, formerly iReach) in addition to its newswire direct to journalist service. And yes, prices are cheaper but this is web-only platform.

PR Newswire points out that this service “is PR Newswire’s Do-It-Yourself platform for customers only interested in online news distribution, SEO and lead generation. It is ideal for customers who want to reach consumers directly and are not interested in media pickup…

However, if you are looking for a more targeted media reach, wider online distribution, advanced targeting, disclosure distribution and more, become a PR Newswire member…

eReleases distributes press releases using three mechanisms:

    1. email submission directly to subscribing journalists, where applicable.
    2. posting on websites, making them available to search engines and social media.
    3. distribution on the major newswire for press releases, Cision PR Newswire, which is by far the most important of the three.

It’s important to understand the 80/20 Rule (also known as the Pareto Principle or the vital few vs. the trivial many) — basically this is the observation that everything in life is distributed unequally. For example, a minority of a company’s customers are responsible for the majority of revenue.

It’s the same with press release distribution. While there’s nothing wrong with posting a press release on websites, and nothing wrong with emailing subscribing journalists directly, the great majority of the effectiveness of any press release distribution comes from newswire distribution, like our sending of all eReleases press releases through Cision PR Newswire. When the goal is to reach journalists, the newswire distribution, by itself, is significantly more effective than both the emailing and website posting combined.

Most of eReleases’ competitors do NOT issue press releases over a newswire of press releases. While others may say that they send their releases to the Associated Press, Reuters, or UPI, it is important to note that AP, Reuters and UPI are not traditional newswires of press releases but newswires designed to send licensed content they’ve written to participating newspapers. This is a critical difference that many competitors use to mislead customers into believing they will receive traditional press release newswire distribution when they will not.

A true newswire of press releases will run your press release over a mechanism that is being fed to newsrooms across the country. This mechanism includes dedicated terminals that stream newsfeeds, special feeds on a corporate intranet, as well as private newsrooms on the Internet for journalists who are working remotely. eReleases issues press releases over the best newswire service for press releases, Cision PR Newswire, which is the oldest and largest newswire of press releases in the country.

Most Fortune 1000 companies and nearly all publicly traded companies use a major newswire of press releases because they recognize that is the most legitimate and widespread mechanism for reaching the media.

With eReleases, that is what you get.

As the only nationwide partner of Cision PR Newswire, eReleases sends all of its press releases to the complete national newswire. Nobody else does.

There are a few competitors that promote that they are going over a major newswire of press releases like Business Wire or PR Newswire — but the few who do aren’t sending those releases out nationwide. They are generally paying a small fee for your press release to go only to a local city or small region of the country — so you are not getting a comprehensive distribution in those cases. You are given a link to your press release on that newswire and wrongly assume that you received a widespread distribution to newsrooms across the country.

Another thing that cheaper competitors have done is to misuse the term “newswire.” They claim that they are a newswire, and when questioned, they point out that they have put their press releases on a web-based newsfeed and have a place on their website where journalists can sign up to receive press releases. This is not a newswire.

Journalists are busy and are not going to go hunting from site to site looking for news. If they do go to a website, they’ll go to the largest site that has the most press releases, as well as a reputation for publishing the most newsworthy press releases, Cision PR Newswire. That’s just a fact.

Could some journalists trickle down and go to a minor press release website? Sure, statistics say that rarely happens, and as a result, your exposure to the media is substantially less. Think of search engines. Theoretically, if you don’t find what you’re looking for on Google, could you then go to Yahoo! or Bing? Sure, but those instances are going to be very few and only attempted by the smallest number of people.

Often people feel like their press release is not that newsworthy, so it’s not worth spending a lot of money to go over a major newswire, but with eReleases you don’t have to spend that much money to leverage newswire distribution. In addition, what you may not realize is that almost every trade publication, and every industry blogger, is going to cover their industries by using and reviewing a major newswire like PR Newswire. Even if you think you are only going to get picked up within your own industry, and such pickup is critical coverage, then having your press release issued over PR Newswire is even more important, because that’s where people will pick you up whether it is breaking news, or just an update of your product or service.

eReleases Basics

Each of our distribution packages includes a certain number of words.

    Regarding word count – the headline, dateline (including city / state), boilerplate, and media contact information all count towards the final word count. If it is content that is being distributed as part of your press release, it is included in the word count. The one EXCEPTION to this is any captions you include with image(s), a caption is not included in the word count, but is limited to 500 characters.

If your press release contains more words than are included in the distribution package you have selected, there is an additional charge, which is based upon each “block” of up to 100 additional words which is needed to satisfy the difference between the number of words in your press release and the number of words included in your distribution package.

These are summarized at

As the only reseller of Cision PR Newswire’s national distribution, eReleases places your press release in front of 85,000 registered journalists who are constantly trawling the wire for newsworthy items to share with their readers.

Your release will also reach a general media audience representing more than 30,000 top media outlets across the US.

Finally, your release will be sent to each contact listed on the target category(ies) of your choice. The number of target category contacts depends on the specific lists chosen, but most lists contain at least 500 – 1500 industry-relevant contacts.

View the media outlets that eReleases reaches here.

There are less than a dozen, small local media that eReleases doesn’t reach through our custom national distribution. But in actuality we often exceed Cision PR Newswire’s US1 reach, especially when you take into account the Direct-to-Journalists email send of our PR Pro distribution, which are hand-crafted, hyper-targeted media lists from one of the largest and most reputable journalist databases.

Click here to view eReleases’ three press release distribution plans and pricing. You may also select additional services like extra words, immediate distribution, and extra target categories.

eReleases’ special deals are available here.

We also offer press release writing services for an additional fee.

All press releases are scheduled before 9:00am US Eastern Time unless same-day distribution is requested.

eReleases has identified this distribution time window as the optimal one for attracting media attention. Morning distribution allows media members to receive releases via email while they are most receptive to considering story ideas for the day — before the market opens.

Normally timed (next day or later) orders
We process most orders on a next work day basis.

Press release orders which we receive during one work day are scheduled for distribution on the next work day, unless you select a later distribution date.

We schedule all normally timed press release orders for distribution prior to 9AM (US Eastern time).

Note: Our work days are Monday – Friday from 7AM until 7PM (US Eastern time)

Rush distribution (same work day) orders

You may order rush distribution (same day as your order), with an added fee.

Rush orders completed before 3pm Eastern time are aimed for distribution within 2 hours of receiving your order (4 hours if image or video embedding options are selected).

Rush orders placed when our office is closed are aimed for distribution before 10AM (12 Noon if image or video embedding options are selected).

Editorial Review

For full editorial review, please submit your distribution order prior to 6PM (US Eastern time) on the work day prior to your desired distribution date.

Orders submitted outside of this limit, including rush distribution orders, will receive a limited editorial review due to the time constraints.

Your press release is issued through PR Newswire, which is a traditional newswire service. PR Newswire sends press releases to more than 22,000 newsrooms, 90,000 journalists through its media websites, and 1.4 million equities terminals.

For PR Pro distributions and those taking advantage of our Direct-to-Journalists email sends (Cision Influencer Lists), the press release is sent via email with the text formatted for line length and presentation. The text of the press release is sent within the body of the email message as many organizations will not accept attachments because of virus and security concerns. You may include up to two images in your press release, which you will upload separately during the ordering process.


While you can schedule the date of distribution, you are not able to select a specific time for distribution. Press releases are normally scheduled before 9am Eastern Time in aggregate (no specific time).

Our low price is based on standardized treatment of press releases. Because there are lots of moving parts, having a press release scheduled for a specific time creates an additional burden on our editors and creates opportunities for mistakes.

All of our press release services feature Associated Press (AP) Newswire distribution. This includes distribution of your press release to top US newspapers and media outlets — The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Dallas Morning News — through the Associated Press (AP). AP webfeeds are accessible to more than 30,000 journalists at more than 1,300 U.S. newspapers.

Our distribution is focused on the United States. We distribute the press release over the newswire and to our media contacts in the United States.

International Distribution can be added to any standard US distribution at a rate of $150 per country or $1000 for global. When sending a press release internationally, it is important to understand that the numbers game is not going to result in more media response. Most international services are incredibly expensive and simply pad their distributions with contacts that have no interest in your company or organization.

The eReleases International Distribution is centered around affordable Direct-to-Journalist targeting. eReleases will take your press release and design an international distribution that specifically targets only those international journalists who have an immediate need for your news based upon their subject specialty and publishing history.

Keep in mind that we target only English-Speaking outlets. Depending on your specific target categories, we may be able to expand your distribution if you provide a translated version of your release. Because we utilize direct-to-journalists distributions, international distribution will not be reflected in your WireWatch Report™.

International Distribution is available in the following countries:
Hong Kong
New Zealand
South Africa
South Korea
United Kingdom

With Translation (Supplied by You):

Additional Countries available on per-release basis.

You may create your free account, or log in, here.

If you have trouble logging in, it is usually because you’re using the wrong password.

You can reset your password by clicking on the “Forgot Password?” link.

Redeem your credit(s) using these easy 1-2-3 instructions.

Step 1 – click Login or Order.
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Step 2 – Log in using the form under the header area.
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Step 3 – Once logged in, you will see a list of any credit(s) you have available.
Click on the Use Credit link to redeem your credit.
Step 3 - Once logged in, you will see a list of any credit(s) you have available. Click on the Use Credit link to redeem your credit.

Yes, absolutely. You can contact us via chat or the contact form here, or you can email us directly at [email protected].

Most new customers to eReleases are understandably curious to know what their press release will look like when published. They are eager to see a preview of their actual release before placing their first order with us.

We provide below many examples of typical press releases for your review. However we do not provide any preview of your exact press release content, for the following reasons:

1. Providing a preview would require you, our customer, to do MUCH more work, breaking your press release content into sections (the elements of the release), to be copy/pasted into several fields in a complicated submission form. It is much quicker for you to simply upload a document containing all of the textual release content.

2. Copying information into a complicated form also means a higher potential for errors and omissions.

Images in your Press Release

You can include up to two images free of charge in your release. If one of the images is a logo, it will appear to the right of the headline and the other image will appear to the right inline with the press release text, on PR Newswire’s website. If neither of the images is a logo, both will appear to the right of the press release text.

Please note that with the free image option, the image(s) will not appear on any of the syndicated websites’ versions of your release.

If you choose to embed images (additional charge), they’ll appear the same on PR Newswire’s site as the free image option, and certain syndicated sites will put one image after the first paragraph and the second image at the end of the release.

Video in your Press Release

You may include one YouTube video in your press release at an additional charge. This will appear to the right inline with the press release text on the PR Newswire site, and will appear first, before any other images that are included in your release.

Example Press Releases

Text Only Release – No Images

Two Images (One Logo), Free Image Option

Two Images, Embedded Option

We observe the following holidays:

New Year’s Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Eve Day
Christmas Day

Those forthcoming dates are:

Sept. 2, 2024
Nov. 28, 2024
Dec. 24, 2024
Dec. 25, 2024
Dec. 31, 2024 (closing at 4PM Eastern time)
Jan. 1, 2025
May 26, 2025
July 4, 2025
Sept. 2, 2025
Nov. 27, 2025
Dec. 24, 2025
Dec. 25, 2025

Choosing eReleases as Your Press Release Distribution Service

Yes! click here to view eReleases’ three press release distribution services compared to each other.

While we are a Cision PR Newswire partner, we are not simply a reseller. eReleases features a robust distribution of its own, which you will receive through our PR Pro distribution (unless selected a la carte). We are designed to provide a comprehensive national U.S. distribution of your press release through our Buzz Builder™, Newsmaker™ and PR Pro™ services, which also happens to include a custom national distribution over PR Newswire.

For PR Pro customers, you will receive email access to subscribing journalists that you would not otherwise receive through another service without substantial costs. In addition, through our Newsmaker™ and PR Pro™ plans, you will receive extra words. All of the major newswires begin charging extra at 400 words. We can also provide local targeting or regional saturation as well.

The reason we’re able to offer the Cision PR Newswire distribution is because our client base is made up of thousands of small businesses, most of which don’t have access to, or a strong understanding of, press release newswires.

This fact allows eReleases to act as sort of a press release cooperative for small and some mid-sized businesses. And because of our volume, we are able to negotiate a substantial discount with the newswire. That discount is passed along to our customers through our more affordable prices, all without sacrificing customer service or potential media exposure.

We guarantee your press release will receive a custom national distribution over Cision PR Newswire. For all of our clients, this includes a WireWatch™ report with links to the press release posted on as many as 200 media websites (see WireWatch™ for details).

Unfortunately, we cannot promise you will receive actual media coverage. The fact is that it’s difficult to receive press as so many online and offline organizations and businesses are competing for the spotlight. That being said, you can increase your likelihood of pickup by writing strategic and newsworthy press releases. Discover the press release strategies that work time and time again here:

eReleases guarantees that your release will be distributed through the oldest, largest, most well-respected newswire for press releases in North America — PR Newswire. We’ll provide you a complimentary WireWatch™ report as proof. Because media members themselves are the arbiters of what is considered newsworthy for their readership, eReleases cannot guarantee media coverage. Remember that even PR firms commanding $5,000+ monthly retainers don’t guarantee media placement.

Click here to view client reviews. Not everyone has great success but those who do always seem eager to share their results. We love to hear of your experience whether good or bad. It helps us gauge what works and who benefits most from our press release services.

Unfortunately, our newswire partner, PR Newswire, which charges nearly $1000 to issue a 500-word press release, charges us for every press release we issue. While we would love to issue a free press release for you and show you how great our service is, we just cannot absorb the cost required to do so.

First-time customers can purchase 1, 3 or 6 Newsmaker distribution credits for a significantly reduced rate through this order form:

To make PR easier for our clients, eReleases allows credits to be purchased on an as-needed basis. Orders for single press releases or bundle packs of distribution credits are purchased via our secure online order form. Typically, services offering unlimited releases or priced under $200 are not issuing press releases over a real newswire, like our partner and industry-leader PR Newswire. New customers can purchase Newsmaker press releases in packages of 3, 6, or 12:

Press Release Formatting

The headline, dateline (including city / state), boilerplate, and media contact information all count towards the final word count.

If it is content that is being distributed as part of your press release, it is included in the word count.

The only exception to this is captions that are added to image(s) you have published in your press releases. The words in the captions are not included in the word count. Captions are limited to 500 characters.

We believe having any more than five links in the average 500 word press release runs the risk of interfering with readability and may be viewed by search engines as a possible red flag. We believe you should list your url (offset in parantheses) after your first company mention in a press release, as well as in the boiler plate (“About Company” section) of your press release and perhaps in the contact information. You can certainly include links to particular products or services when mentioned as well as any files you may want to highlight.

You can also include anchor text, also known as link label or link text, in which you have a keyword or keyword phrase that links to a webpage. Some of the newswire’s partner websites will respect these links, but some won’t. Please note that we believe it is best practice to include the actual url, and omit anchored text. Anchored text within press releases can trigger Google’s updated Link Schemes Document, which considers anchored text to be unnatural.

We recommend that, in addition to the links mentioned above, if you mention specific products or services where a direct link to an internal page on your website would be advantageous, you include a link to those pages. Anything more runs the risk of appearing unnatural and may alienate journalists and search engines alike.

It’s just a matter of finding the right balance. But to summarize, there is no limit to the number of links you may have in your press release.

Keep in mind that we tag all links, anchored or not, as “no follow” as per Google’s press release requirements. Regardless of the type of link that you choose to include, these links will not be indexed by search engines. We stand behind Google in affirming that press release issuances should not affect SEO.

Images and a video may be included either as simple links within the press release, or they can be embedded in the body of the release.

Simple Linking Option (no additional charge)

You can place any type of link within your press release, including links to videos, pictures, PDFs, and other types of multimedia files.

Image Specifications

For best appearance your image size should be at least 600 pixels on the longest side, with 800 pixels the preferred size.

Free Image Option (no additional charge)

Two images may be included within your press release at no additional charge. The free images will appear in your press release as published on but they will not be included on other syndicated sites where your press release may also be published.

Embedded Media Options

Your image(s) can be included on most syndicated sites by selecting Photo Embed which is an additional charge.

A single YouTube video may be embedded for an additional charge. Your embedded video will appear on most syndicated sites which publish your press release, also.

The embedded multimedia file will be viewable on hundreds of websites (for images, over 2000 partner websites support embedding, and for videos, over 700 partner sites support embedding). The total number that pick up your release will vary depending on industry and subject matter.

With the free image option, up to two images will be included on the PR Newswire press release website,, but the images will not be included on any of the syndicated sites where your press release may be published.

To include your images in your press release on most syndicated sites which publish it, you can select the Photo Embed option (additional charge).

The newswire has it’s own very specific formatting requirements. There are formatting issues with both the newswire as well as the newswire’s partner websites that accept and re-publish these press releases. Therefore, we must send the press release in a format that is acceptable to the newswire.

Reaching the Media/Your Target Audience

We send you a WireWatch™ report shortly after distribution providing you with as many as 200 links to where you can view your press release live on the Internet. These are sites that stream much of Cision PR Newswire’s press releases, including News Alert, MarketWatch, Yahoo!,, and Google.

In addition, you can explore clipping services to properly gauge response. Remember that trade publications and some sources (due to printing schedules) may not use a press release immediately so it is advised to measure success over weeks and months rather than days and hours. [ Click to view our roundup of clipping services ]

We provide a list of representative sources for each target list(s) selected:

However, we cannot force an editor or source to accept our press releases as our lists operate at the discretion and procedures of Cision PR Newswire, the oldest and most respected newswire of press releases.

While extremely unlikely, it is not impossible. Every day, we see newspapers, major and minor outlets, pick an obscure company to mention in an article. Many of these companies are plucked out of obscurity because they’ve issued a press release and appeared on a particular journalist’s radar. In those cases, it’s often more a case of luck in which a press release appeared at a time when a journalist was looking for a person, product, or company to incorporate into a story. The key is that it does happen.

If you look at the testimonials section on our website, you can view the amazing success that many of our clients have had.

One thing you may notice is that in most cases, it’s not their first press release that generated success. In many cases it might be their second, third or sixth press release that catapulted them out of obscurity. In most cases, their press releases are NOT breaking news. These are people who are issuing the same type of news that you probably have around you, and they are doing the same types of business activities that you are doing, which could be incorporated into a press release and get you in front of the media.

These are the media opportunities that our customers are getting but you are not because you are not issuing press releases to the media.

Rest assured that we are delivering your press release to the media in your target category selections. This is why we disclose the outlets in each list here. Each outlet on each list represents a real editor, reporter or journalist looking for a lead on the next great thing. Every morning, our team custom-builds the list of recipients for each release and deploys a campaign in which the intended recipients receive a specific press release via email. This campaign takes place simultaneously with the newswire distribution. This is what targeting is all about. The hits you see on your WireWatch™ report, which is delivered to all of our customers, are really instant gratification: Your release is out in the world, and here it is on major sites. Targeting, however, yields slower results because you’re dealing with the human factor. A live, breathing person is essentially making a judgment on your release — and doing it on his or her own timing. Moreover, these members of the media are often operating offline in print or broadcast outlets not visible to Google and driven by long lead-times. Any given press release may not resonate with any given targeted contact at any given time. But if it does, the reward can be phenomenal.

In addition, you may find some value in a clipping service like those described at

One client asked if he could expect between a 3-5% publishing rate. We said he would be extremely lucky to receive between three and five articles written as a result of his press release distribution. Two of our most successful clients averaged between two and four articles each press release submission. However, those articles were in the Washington Post, The Economist, Bride, and Minorities In Business magazine. In fact, the client appearing in Minorities In Business magazine was also named “Female Entrepreneur of the Year.” This doesn’t happen with everyone. But it does happen. And it can dramatically change a business when it does occur.

For guaranteed publishing rates, expect to pay a PR firm at least $6,000 a month — and they tend to work on a tier system. That $6,000 will be directed at receiving press on the trade magazine/source level. For an additional amount, they will then move up to traditional sources such as newspapers. Again, these PR firms earn that money. It is not easy getting media coverage. But if you are on a budget, it makes sense, at the very least, to submit press releases on a regular basis. A single press release is less likely to result in press than a monthly press release or, at the very minimum, a press release sent each quarter. Viewing each press release as part of an ongoing media campaign is the best way to remain focused and to eventually receive media coverage for your company.

If your goal is to get PR for your company, and to look at press releases as a way to market your company, you simply cannot judge a PR campaign on one or two press releases. No PR firm is going to sign a contract and issue one or two press releases, because they know that is not a PR campaign. A PR campaign contains a series of press releases to the media in which you use different approaches, different hooks, to engage the media. By doing this, you will eventually have success.

If you were to dedicate yourself to between six and ten well-written press releases with an assortment of hooks and angles for your company, you WILL receive media coverage, and that media coverage WILL exceed your press release costs by at least a factor of ten.

If you are committed to it, and you are doing it right, you WILL get media coverage. We have never seen an instance where it hasn’t happened.

If you are having difficulty, you need to have a no-cost discussion with one of our editors about varying your approach, including different hooks and angles. There are lots of opportunities for press releases to work but it is also easy to be lulled into a one-dimensional approach to PR in which you believe you’re trying something new but you’re really not. It only takes between one and three influential places to pick up your press release to make a huge difference for your company, including trade publications, a writeup on a specialized website, or an influential blog. We are not talking about a situation where you’re getting 40 or 50 stories about your company. You can achieve major PR success with just a few quality pickups. If your news is not out there, you’re not going to make it.

If you’re judging PR on a single press release, we don’t want to take your money in the first place. Because in all likelihood, it’s not going to be business-transformative for you. We’d rather see someone commit to doing four press releases over the next year to see if it’s going to work for them. And even that is a little bit short-sighted. We’ve just never seen an instance where PR can’t be effective for a business that sticks to a formula of issuing a series of press releases with varied hooks.

If you visit the Customer Success Stories on our website here, you can view the experience of fellow business owners. In nearly all cases, their press releases were not breaking news. How did they do it? In one word: persistence.

At eReleases, we issue your press release by emailing it to subscribing journalists, moving it over the Associated Press (AP) Newswire, and distributing it over Cision PR Newswire, which transmits your press release through newswire terminals in newsrooms across the country, as well as places it onto participating partners’ media websites.

For that reason, it’s near impossible to measure the impressions of your press release. There are web-only press release sites, like PRWeb, that do provide you with impressions, because for the most part, your press release resides on only one website. What happens is that they have other sites and partner sites that stream the headline and link back to the actual press release. Your press release is never moving out there to other people; it’s being made available on one page on one website, and that makes it very easy to measure impressions … but not so great for getting media coverage.

Because eReleases is actually sending the press release out to individuals and pushing it to lots of journalists, we just can’t measure impressions. It’s not just the emails that go to subscribing journalists, it’s the newswire distribution. The newswire environment just doesn’t have the capability of measuring impressions on other websites, or email open rates.

In the WireWatch™ report, you will be provided with various view counts, which represent the views of your press release as hosted on the PR Newswire site. Please note, however, that these statistics do not include the views that occur on the hundreds of other sites on which your release is published.

If another service touts that you can see how many people have viewed your news story, or how many people have opened it, this is a big indicator that your press release is NOT going over a true newswire service, because there’s no way to measure that in a newswire environment. It is also a sign that your press release is NOT being placed in front of journalists but instead resides on a single webpage on a single website, which is not a distribution but rather an expensive webpage. In either case, you’re likely dealing with a company that has simply co-opted the term “newswire.”

21st-Century PR

The purpose of a press release is to make media members aware of your news in hopes that they will turn it into a news story and thus spread the word to their readers: the public. Press releases can be effective marketing tools in that they allow clients to control the message being transmitted to the media, and by extension, the public at large.

There is no magic day for issuing a press release. The reason for that is this: if there was a “best” day, it would quickly become the worst day, because insiders would tell their friends and colleagues, and more press releases would be published on that day, increasing competition for journalists’ attention. For example, if Tuesday was the “magic day” in the industry, every publicist would soon learn that, and you’d see a huge spike in volume on that day, which would overwhelm journalists, making Tuesday the most competitive day to issue press releases.

You find a lot of publicly-traded companies as well as the U.S. government issuing bad news after 5PM on Friday. But guess what? Every Monday morning, those stories are right there on the front pages, so they’re not fooling anybody. Journalists are paying attention every day of the week. At eReleases, we issue press releases Monday through Friday, because we find that most journalists are working a Monday through Friday schedule. Therefore, it’s most efficient to work on a Monday through Friday basis.

On the weekends and overnight, you’re dealing with a skeleton crew of media, and they’re going to be hyper-responsive to very important news and leave all other news for the regular shift. Our clients’ news, for the most part, is not breaking news. In short, there is no magic day to issue your press release.

Regarding time of distribution, eReleases schedules its press releases for morning distribution. We have no facts to justify our position but we believe it makes sense to have your news in the inbox of subscribing journalists when they sit down for that first cup of coffee in the morning.

A press release that is newsworthy is what works, and then only some of the time. Announcing that you’ve put your cyber-shingle out on the web very rarely cuts it unless your services are unlike anything else on the Internet.

However, it is worth taking a chance … and for good reason. The client appearing in Bride and named “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” by Minorities In Business magazine announced her gift shop through our service. On the surface, you wouldn’t expect this press release to be that successful.

However, a busy editor under deadline who needs an anecdote or wants to humanize a story will turn to good examples he’s recently seen, sometimes regardless of your press release’s newsworthiness. Being in the right place at the right time happens a lot in the world of PR.

Yes, the Internet has seen its largest growth among small and mid-sized companies. This medium has helped to level (or at least leverage) the playing field of huge overhead expenses, large contracts, and even larger advertising budgets.

As a result, many small companies have seen their businesses flourish on the web. Sometimes this happens when a company is profiled in a trade journal or appears on the front page of the Washington Post’s business section. As long as your goals are realistic, press releases are a valuable opportunity.

If you don’t succeed on your first release, remember that one press release is only part of an ongoing media campaign and stick with it. Each subsequent press release (crafted for its newsworthiness) will only help your company or organization gain credibility with editors and writers, who may eventually give you that mention you’ve been looking for.

Press releases do work.

Most importantly, make sure you include your press releases on your website. Unfortunately, many people don’t get that, so they don’t follow up and place the text of their press release on their website (and it does belong on your website, not on our website or another company’s site). Not only are you losing opportunities among your customers who may want to know more about your company and services (read “credibility” here), you are losing media opportunities.

Say you have three press releases on your site and an editor who received the most recent one visits your site for more information (not all editors will call — in fact, most don’t). Some facts and additional news gleaned from those previous releases can be just what that editor needed to tip the scales in your favor.

Even if you only have one press release, start a press room or media kit for your website. At the very least, the additional text will be welcome for search engine spidering — making it a little easier for customers and media to find you.

Also, be sure to read our advice on how to write a press release, as well as advice on how to send a press release if you decide to distribute it yourself.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO isn’t something that you should be performing on your press release. What you should be doing is writing something for the end-users of the press release, which is journalists, possibly bloggers in your industry. By doing that you will have your important keywords in your release in a natural progression. If there are acronyms or buzzwords in your industry, you may want to initially mention the full name a bit more.

One of the things that we find ourselves doing when we write about press releases is that we use the word “release” instead of “press release” or “news release” — so one of the things that we are conscious of is to go back and edit our copy and use the full phrases a few times in the copy. And that’s it; that’s all you should focus on.

What we do at eReleases is to optimize press releases for search engines. We take care of the title tags, H1 tags, meta descriptions, and other things to make sure that the search engines can discover the release, but we don’t do any “black hat” or deceptive SEO stuff in an attempt to influence the search engines. The moment that you do that, you are likely violating the terms of service of the search engines. So we just make sure that it is coded in a way that is easy for the search engines to read and understand. When it comes to writing the press release, we don’t think you should even focus on the search engines, other than going back and briefly reviewing your keywords and making sure that they appear in a natural way. If you find that your keywords are appearing too often, you should go back and omit some of them, so that it doesn’t appear as though you are “keyword-stuffing” your press release, which will result in search engines ignoring or penalizing your content.

The great thing about press releases is that lots of people see a temporary increase in visibility on the search engines just because of the fact that your company or product name is mentioned in a press release that’s out there on a lot of different websites. However, this effect is ephemeral. News sites don’t list stuff permanently. You’re quickly going to drift back downward anyway. If you get any SEO benefit from press releases, and we know a lot of customers who swear by it, we think it should be viewed only as a temporary side effect or bonus. It should NOT be the reason for doing press releases. The goal for press releases should be to get that media coverage, and to stay committed to the process of engaging the media with varying types of press releases.

We believe that the SEO game is just that. If press releases were a magic wand in which you achieved long-term rankings, Google would change their algorithm. Google is smart, and we think that rather than “gaming the search engines,” you should simply issue great content, make sure you put those press releases on your own website, because they are keyword-rich, with a lot of great content, and you are the author, but we wouldn’t waste any time chasing press release services that promote that they can have you rank on page one of Google, because you will generally see that happen for your company and product/service name anyway.

A company that touts that they’ll get you on the front page of Google isn’t a real press release company; they are an SEO voodoo company who’s likely to get your website penalized in the search engines, and that’s another red flag indicating that’s not a company that you want to work with.