The Pros and Cons of Using a PR Distribution Service

A city road at night

Just kidding, there are no pros.

There are no shortcuts to media coverage. If there were, every PR pro would be using them. We have clients ask us to “send it on the wire,” as if it’s something they heard Samantha Jones say on Sex and the City. We could take your money, take a beautifully written press release and send it to the masses and crickets. It will show a bunch of pick-ups, some will look legit, and some will not be in the slightest. Let us explain. 

First, let us start with what the hell a wire service is. Some companies and organizations may want to see their news published “on the wire” using a press release distribution services platform such as Business Wire, PR Newswire, or PRWeb. For a fee, these subscription-based services can be used by PR professionals to distribute a client’s press releases to thousands of media outlets at once. In theory, it sounds great. 

Misconception: I’ll reach the right and relevant journalists and get like so much coverage.

Reality: Journalists are slammed with hundreds of pitches, tweets, LinkedIn messages, phone calls, and emails a day. They are not relying on canned press releases on the wire for news stories. 

Even if “picked up,” news releases published through the wire typically show up on a media outlet’s website for a short period of time before the links disappear. This is consistent with low-quality or automatically generated news coverage.

Misconception: All PR agencies use wire services.

Reality: Some do. A good PR agency understands the value of relationships and spends time building a media list, researching reporters, developing pitches, and sending targeted outreach to the RIGHT reporters and publications. A wire service is a “spray and pray” mentality and it seldom, if ever, works. 

Misconception: It’ll help with SEO

Reality: Google’s algorithm weeds out junk, very few of the wire service postings are ranked at all.

Misconception: All media coverage is equal.

Reality: A RSS Feed link on a “news” site will never compare to the value of a well-written piece by a journalist at a target publication. 

Invest in a PR partner who will shoot you straight and not take shortcuts like a wire service to garner media coverage. You get what you pay for.

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