Are Newswire Services Worth the Spend?

By February 28, 2019 Industry Perspective
newswire services

This isn’t the first time we’ve written a piece on newswire services, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. That’s because, like most things in PR, newswire services continue to adapt along with the changing media landscape. Where issuing a release via BusinessWire, PRNewswire or the like used to be a must, using newswire services to amplify company news is now most certainly optional.

To help B2B SaaS marketing teams decide if they should pay for a newswire service or not, we put together the below list of newswire service FAQs. Read through and decide for yourself if the benefits outweigh the cost.

FAQs About Press Release Newswire Services

What is a newswire?

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. Keep in mind: these sections aren’t as widely-read as the homepage of the website. Dependent 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?

  • Visibility: 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).
  • Referral traffic: Since you control the content of a press release in its entirety, you have the opportunity to include backlinks to your website. Our clients often see BusinessWire.com and PRNewswire.com as referrers to their sites.
  • SEC requirements: For public companies, newswires can fulfill SEC requirements on earnings disclosures, as well as impact stock prices. When we work with public companies, we always sync press release distribution strategy with the IR team.

What can’t a newswire do?

  • Boost SEO: Newswire services used to have an impact on SEO, but thanks to Google’s ever-changing algorithm, their SEO value is now negligible.
  • Garner press coverage: There is a difference between a press release posting via a newswire service and a piece of coverage. That’s not to say that newswire postings aren’t valuable (they are — see above), 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 via 1:1 outreach to target journalists, the email distribution portion itself is less important. Meaning, if you want national coverage for an announcement, you don’t necessarily have to pay for national distribution.

To keep costs down, we usually recommend our clients choose a local distribution. Local distributions are cost-effective and just as impactful in terms of online postings. They distribute the release to a list of local media (we suggest the location of your HQ) 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. But, there are other benefits outside of coverage 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.

Want a PR person’s opinion on all of this? Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how we recommend B2B SaaS brands should use press releases

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About Grace Williams

As a director of accounts with a background in innovative content creation, Grace oversees the planning and implementation of creative media relations strategy on B2B client accounts. Through strategic relationship building and targeted outreach, Grace has led her team to secure consistent coverage for SaaS clients in both trade publications and top tier media outlets. The proud owner of a SoBro bungalow, Grace can usually be found at Lowes, gearing up for her next project (or at Starbucks, fueling up with caffeine instead).

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