The true value of a newswire service

With social media and the changed media landscape, the value of a newswire press release has changed—but that doesn’t mean it won’t offer some rewards.

Like most things in PR, newswire services continue to adapt along with the changing media landscape. Issuing a release via BusinessWire, PRNewswire or another service used to be a must, using newswire services to amplify company news is now most certainly optional.

A newswire is a press release distribution service that shares your release to a network of general newsroom email addresses (newsroom@publication.com), as well as press release sections of publications online. These sections aren’t as widely read as the homepage of the website. Depending upon which distribution you select (which we will get to in a bit), the release could be distributed to anything from a local newsroom to a technology-specific newsroom.

The two most widely-used, respected and trustworthy wire services are BusinessWire and PRNewswire.

What are the benefits of using a newswire?

One of the biggest benefits of using a newswire is that it gives your company a search engine result. Particularly if you are in a hiring or fundraising phase, an online index of company news can show momentum to potential investors, employees or partners. (Note: Newswire postings will show on the News page of Google when first published, but they won’t stay there forever).

Also, since you control the content of a press release in its entirety, you have the opportunity to include backlinks to your website. Many businesses will see BusinessWire.com and PRNewswire.com as referrers to their sites.

For public companies, newswires can fulfill SEC requirements on earnings disclosures, as well as impact stock prices.

What can’t a newswire do?

Newswire services used to have an impact on SEO, but thanks to Google’s ever-changing algorithm, their SEO value is now negligible.

There’s also a difference between a press release posting via a newswire service and true media coverage. That’s not to say that newswire postings aren’t valuable, but they don’t provide third-party validation like press coverage. They are owned, not earned.

How much does a newswire cost?

The cost of your newswire distribution will depend on the length of your press release and your chosen distribution. Since your PR team will be reaching out to target journalists, the email distribution portion itself is less important. If you want national coverage for an announcement, you don’t necessarily have to pay for national distribution.

Local distributions are cost-effective and just as effective in terms of online postings. They distribute the release to a list of local media (the location of your headquarters is recommended) but also hit the big national outlets like Reuters and Yahoo! Finance that show up in news searches.

Here is sample pricing for the first 400 words of your press release:

  • Local pricing ranges from $315 (cities) to $495 (regions)
  • National wires range from $595 (corridors) to $795 (national)

Any savvy PR team will tell you that putting a press release on the wire won’t earn you press coverage. However, there are other benefits to consider. If you decide to forgo the newswire service, consider creating a “company news” section on your website so that your PR team will have a live link to each announcement.

What’s your take? Do wire services still offer value in your campaigns?

Grace Williams is the senior director of accounts at BLASTmedia. A version of this article first appeared on the BLASTmedia blog

 

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