"Newswire Press Releases: Are They Worth It?" with Scott Covelli
Good Morning Podcasters!February 15, 2023
19:4727.18 MB

"Newswire Press Releases: Are They Worth It?" with Scott Covelli

Have you ever wanted to send out a press release and thought, "Hey, there are distribution services that can push this out to all the news outlets. I could be on CNN! I could be in the New York Times! I could be EVERYWHERERERERE!!!"

Before you go wasting your money on a wire service distribution, let's talk about what newswire releases are and whether or not they're worth it.

On today's episode, I'm joined by EPIC Creative's Content Director and Head of PR, Scott Covelli.

What is a Newswire?

A newswire is a tool you can use to distribute press releases to media outlets and journalists. These distributions come with a fee that is usually determined by the size of the audience, number of images or logos accompanying your release, and often by word count. Wires are typically used to send news to large audiences of journalists—though they often are themed by industry (e.g., automotive, oil & gas, food & beverage, etc.) and geography.

What Does a Newswire Release look like?

If you're sending a newswire release, it should be written in a standard press release format. This will ensure it's easy for journalists and news outlets to quickly assess whether the information you're sending them is relevant to their audience. The release typically includes a headline, a dateline, a lead paragraph, the body of the release, and media contact information. On Episode 6 of GMP, I walk you through the standard format of a press release.

As with any press release, the information included in the release should be newsworthy and not just an ad written in a press release format.

What Are the Benefits of a Newswire Distribution?

The biggest benefit of a newswire service is the wide reach it can provide. Newswire services have established relationships with a variety of media outlets, making it likely that your release will be picked up and published by multiple sources. This can help to increase the visibility of your news, and can also give you the appearance of credibility by landing placements on multiple sites.

What Are the Limitations of Newswire Distributions

Newswire releases certainly have their limitations. Since they are sent out to such wide audiences, it can be difficult to ensure that your release is targeting the right news organizations.

Distributions are "pay-to-play." Your news will most likely get picked up, possibly on hundreds of sites, but it will generally be a straight copy/paste of your press release. The placement of these releases, however, is usually in the utter depths of hell of a news site. Even if you are getting picked up on MSNBC or the NYT, it's almost always in a place that is not ever going to be seen by a human. Also, the links in your release will likely be given the rel="nofollow" HTML tag, stripping you of the possible SEO benefits from the host site.

News releases sent via a wire service are also quite costly. Even the most basic services charging a few hundred dollars at a minimum. If your release includes additional elements such as images and your podcast's logo, the cost can easily exceed $1,000. It's important to keep in mind that the cost of the service does not guarantee that your release will be picked up by specific media outlets.

It may be worth exploring other cost-effective options for distributing your release, such as sending it directly to targeted media contacts or posting it on your podcast's website and social media channels.

However, if that $1,000 is burning a hole in your pocket, you could spend it on Facebook or Instagram ads and potentially reach even more people than you would with a newswire distribution.

Down to The Wire

Newswire-distributed press releases are popular for a reason—but that reason is mainly self-gratification. If you're going to use a service like this, make sure your news is legitimately newsworthy, and only use this tool sparingly. A newswire release cannot replace genuine relationships with journalists, which are key to meaningful and ongoing media coverage.