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[Guest Post] News Release Distribution. Free or Paid Service?

Editor’s Note: This post is first in a three-part series by Carabiner Communications on distributing your press release once it is written.


Not all Press Releases Need Broad Distribution


By brhefee from Flickr

Now that you’ve written your news release, it’s time to develop a distribution plan. But not all press releases are suited for a distribution service. For example, some are considered “soft news” (i.e. awards, general hiring announcements, etc.) and are written primarily to be posted on a company’s website and used for content marketing.

But For Those That Do…

However, for more newsworthy releases (i.e. new product announcements, mergers/acquisitions, etc.), utilizing a news distribution service to deliver your news is a good way to increase online visibility, drive traffic to your website and reach a more targeted audience. With a number of news distribution services available, it can be confusing when trying to decide which one is better suited for your news release.

We’ve created the chart below to give you a quick, side-by-side comparison of the benefits of using a paid distribution service versus a free one.

Feature Paid Free
Cost Price depends on the service used and can range from $250 to $1,000 or more based on word count and type of circuits you choose for distribution (i.e. city, state or national). Most companies should choose their state or city circuit to save money, while still reaping the online visibility benefits from a national or even global perspective. Free, but beware. Some of these “free” services have hidden costs.
 Reporting  Yes. Paid services provide a detailed report showing the reach and online visibility of your release, as well as media outlets that viewed the release, social engagement, and top referring sites. If any, it is minimal.
SEO Optimization Yes. Hyperlinks and anchor text will ensure maximum visibility and extends the life of your news release. Minimal. Free sites often do not allow for hyperlinks or anchor texts.
Photo/Logo inclusion  Yes. You can upload a photo or logo for an additional charge.  Yes. Depending on the service, there may be an additional charge to upload a photo or logo.
Target Media by Region or Industry  Yes. You have the ability to select a specific circuit to target key media based on geographical location or topic.  No. Typically categories selected are for archive purposes only.
Keyword Optimization   No. Typically categories selected are for archive purposes only.  Yes. Free sites allow you to include keywords for your news release.
Enhanced Visibility  Yes. Paid news releases are automatically published on other news outlets depending on the circuit selected.  If any, it’s minimal. The news release is typically only posted on the free site and is often not distributed to other outlets.
Editorial Review Yes. Paid news releases are reviewed by an editorial team to check for grammatical errors and to ensure you are maximizing your reach.  No. Free news releases are not reviewed for grammatical errors and are published quickly. Sometimes there is a delay (up to 24 hours) to ensure the news release is not spam.
Membership Fee Yes. Typically there is a set-up fee and/or subscription required.  No, but often an account must be created.

Paid distribution services ensure a wider reach with more bells and whistles for both news dissemination and reporting. Although better to use a free service than no service at all, it’s important to evaluate your options based on the type of news you want to communicate, the impact you’re trying to achieve, and, of course, budget.

By utilizing a paid distribution service coupled with a targeted media outreach program, you ensure that your news is delivered to more of your audience.


About Carabiner Communications: Carabiner specializes in making big reputations for start-up and fast-growth B2B companies. We’re as adept at honing and focusing messages as we are at delivering them, weaving together multiple communications channels to every client’s advantage. Visit us at or email pbaron[at]carbinerpr[dot]com

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One Response to [Guest Post] News Release Distribution. Free or Paid Service?

  1. Pingback: “I’ve Got News!” Series: How to Select and Use a Wire Distribution Service for Press Releases | The Carabiner Connector