Sunday, 6 November 2011
New Study: Getting what you pay for, free newswires that are worth your time
B2B PR agency reveals which free newswires help to raise awareness online – and which ones don’t
Vitis PR, a Birmingham-based UK B2B PR agency, has announced the results of its study into free newswires.
Free newswires across the UK and US are fighting to attract the attention of small businesses and PR agencies that want to save on online news distribution costs. While many have paid for options, the freemium model can introduce a newswire’s services to companies/agencies that want to spread news to journalists, bloggers and online cost effectively.
Vitis PR has researched and trialled 60 free newswires to determine how well the services work and what additional benefits, such as free hyperlinks and distribution to journalists/bloggers.
Vitis PR issued a series of press releases using the sites and evaluated the results in terms of both PR and SEO benefit. The research focused on the following:
1. Do journalists and bloggers actually use the press releases on free sites for news content?
2. Does the release appear on Google News?
3. Does the release appear in a Google web search?
4. How easy to use are free release sites?
5. What help (if any) are free press release sites for link building?
6. Could we use the sites to help 'own' the search results for a targeted phrase?
The results include:
Best free press release site for reaching journalists, bloggers, editors and other influencers
The same press releases were also sent to journalist contacts and were all picked up, so the quality of the submitted material wasn’t in question. These wires simply don’t get the attention of journalists or bloggers.
Best free press release site for Google News
Winner: Online PR News
Runners up: Open PR, PR Fire
Just a handful of free news distribution sites were actually picked up by Google News, though the majority did offer paid for options which increased chances of appearing.
Best free press release site for appearing in Google web searches
Winner: PR Fire
Runners up: News Wire Today, PR Zoom, Idea Marketers
Appearing in web searches may be valuable as a way of trying to place news in front of people searching for your target phrases - though it is unlikely this will be effective where the target phrases are more than moderately competitive.
Best free press release site for building links
Winners: Idea Marketers, PR Zoom, Business Services UK
Simply posting the release to some of the distribution sites does give some limited SEO benefit because the sites do provide links and a few allow users to tailor the anchor text - most sites however, either didn't give a link or gave a 'nofollow' link. None of the releases were picked up by third-party sites that might be considered to be valuable for link building, so it seems that there is little value in relying on free press release distribution sites for link building.
Jaspal Sahota, Director of Vitis PR commented: “We wouldn’t recommend that a PR agency or company relies on using a free press release distribution service to get news in front of journalists and bloggers. The odds are that it isn't going to work except perhaps in a few special cases. If you really must use a wire service to reach influencers, you'd be better served with a premium service, which sends news out to databases of journalists and bloggers and often syndicates news to other websites. Having said that, one of the best ways to get journalist or bloggers interested in your news is traditional PR media relations - find the right contact, get your story straight and pitch it.
Some of the services offer extra benefits for as little as a dollar so, if you’re investing the time to use a free wire service, it makes sense to spend a few extra dollars (or pounds) to get the best out of it.”
To see the full results of the research, please visit: www.vitispr.com/blog/free-press-release-sites
To find out more about Vitis PR, contact Jaspal Sahota on 0121 242 8048 or via email@example.com.
(EDITOR: Or use the modestly priced paid for services of www.responsesource.com)