Does PR Newswire Really Work?

Does PR Newswire work?PR Newswire claims that the network they deliver your message to is by far the biggest out there. When you’re talking about getting your message out to as many people as possible, that’s really all you’re concerned about: how many eyeballs it gets in front of. But there are other factors to consider, such as how they interpret your message, and whether they read and follow up on your calls to action.

Overview
Press releases are nothing new and have been around since the olden days when newspapers were first getting their start. They have long been used by businesses and other news makers to give journalists a spoon-fed idea of what to report on. It’s pretty much the news coming to the journalist rather than the other way around. These days much of it is done online, and there are several online press release distribution services that say they can cast with a wide net.

The Claim
PR Newswire says that it is basically your one-stop source for not only distributing your message, but managing your campaigns, keeping tabs on your social media, engaging the right people, and targeting specific groups that you think would have an interest in what you have to say.

They also claim that you can track and organize your social media marketing efforts, which is good if you haven’t been doing so up until now. Social marketing can be great, but only if you know what sort of effect your efforts are having. If you aren’t measuring things, you have no way of knowing what is working and what is not.

They also point out that you can spice up your press releases with different forms of media, including videos and pictures. This would set your release apart from others that don’t have these sort of added features, and it should lead to more people engaging with your release and remembering what your message said.

As a member they say that you will have the right to send out news to their network. If you’re not a member you can still send releases out, but it will be to their online-only network and not the full one. They claim to have a 100 step validation process that each press release goes through before being sent to their feed. This would mean that only good releases get through, and therefore people are more likely to pay attention to this feed, than to others that let basically anything through.

The Hype
This is one of the top rated press release services out there, and many people reference it when talking about press releases. But don’t think that your life will dramatically change just by sending out a few press releases through them. It’s a good way to solidify your business and give it a more professional image, but you likely won’t be an overnight sensation by sending out a few releases.

The Cost
Membership in PR Newswire is $195 for one year. The online press kit that comes with it makes it worth it, not to mention all of the other standard features like being able to send out releases to their entire network.

The Commitment
You’ll need to craft your message well in order for it to be effective, because this is a service that gets the message out there for you and doesn’t necessarily create it for you. It’s really a two-part process: coming up with the perfect words, and then having those words get seen by the right people that will help spread the message to everyone else.

Evaluation
PR Newswire provides a solid user experience and is a good value for the dollar. When you compare it to other services, you will soon see that they take great pains in keeping the integrity of their network intact. They filter out a lot of the rubbish and non-news that makes it into other press release news feeds. If your release makes it through the checking process you can be sure that it will not be sandwiched between ads for Viagra and other non-newsworthy content. Your release will be surrounded by other professionally written, newsworthy attention-getters.

Final PR Newswire Review

PR Newswire is getting our nod of approval as a definite Try. Also consider going with PR Web, as they are the other big name. The sort of response you get from it will largely be up to you and how savvy you are at writing a release or having one written for you. If your piece is well-written, delivering your message as news and not as a shameful plug, it has a high chance of getting picked up by some major networks and you never know where things could lead.

A good campaign can get you tons of business and many tens of thousands of dollars worth of free advertising in the form of news stories and interviews on TV and the radio. If you were to try and buy that airtime you would be shocked by the costs. This lets you avoid those costs, and also have more credibility because you are the news and not just what comes on in between the news.

Our Recommendation
This is a solid service, even at the free level. But if you want to take things to the next level you’ll definitely get enough value to make it worth it. Testing out a few free releases is good to get a feel for how their process works. Then when you really want your message to get out there, you can send it through their entire network and see what sort of results you get.

What do you think? Does PR Newswire work or not?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Muros September 14, 2012 at 12:21 am

If you compare the price with other press release network at $195 it’s ridiculously cheap. With that said I think you have to consider what your needs are, I think a network like this will generally have trashy to very good journalists on the list. I’m thinking this is probably best used for budget campaigns and you should probably run a bigger campaign on a network with higher reputation. All in all though it looks like a good company to work with.

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dbarber June 23, 2015 at 4:40 am

From a humble web surfer’s perspective, the PRNewswire articles I come across all seem like fake news run through the spin cycle a few thousand times. You’d have to be pretty gullible to mistake any of their articles as a reliable source of info about any company. It all just comes off as another false front, and a clumsy one at that.

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Jacqueline January 25, 2016 at 11:04 pm

I would not recommend this service to anyone looking to distribute a press release online. I have worked with them before and they have some really shady business tactics, including tricking the client into including additional media items so they can jack up the price of your release. You may have a good experience at first, only to find that they slap you with an $1000 fee a month later. BEWARE — PR Newswire cares more about making money than they do about providing quality services and transparency to their customers.

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Norma May 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm

What service do you recommend?

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Mike Bonheim June 6, 2016 at 6:21 pm

Keep[ in mind that it’s $195 annual (which they often waive with an added commitment) PLUS $350 – $750 per copy-only release of up to 400 words. Logo, image, multimedia, etc. are all additional costs above that membership and release fee.

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Lee Henderson February 13, 2017 at 9:31 pm

High price and poor penetration in biotech. Didn’t even get into the two pieces with the highest distribution in biotech, BIO daily newsletter and GEN. Cost for two releases were $1,200 and $1,500.

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Adam Parker August 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

First of all PR Newswire is a complete rip off. We paid $830 for PR newswire WebPlus with the promise that our news release would be distributed to hundreds of targeted industry professionals in North America. This is what happened: after the news release, Google news showed that our news appeared on PR Newswire and and a suspicious blog. Although one may think it is good to be covered by 2 news outlets, we received a total of 15 clicks to our website. 15 clicks for $830 is like a joke, because if I post it to my own facebook page I get more clicks than this. The news outlets they distribute your news are automated blogs that post thousands of news a day, Google does not consider them as news sources and news editors don’t read them. It is a total rip off. Your content may be penalized for appearing in those kinds of shady automated news blogs. It is a total waste of money.

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Nick Floyd August 26, 2017 at 2:19 am

ZERO STARS! This is the truth. The service appeared to me to be misleading. We were highly dissatisfied with the results press release via prnewswire.com. The press release ended up on a bunch of financial sites with commercial links to prnewswire.com, and we could not locate it anywhere on the web search. I would give it zero stars.

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Wayne A Hazle January 7, 2018 at 5:19 am

Would love to hear if there are more good reviews out there in 2017. I am looking at using them for a campaign I am doing for my mobile app.

Also has anyone used newswire.com? sounds similar but I am not quite sure how they are different.

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Linda May 10, 2018 at 12:44 pm

I would never use them, and here’s why: For many years I was a freelance journalist, and each year I would suddenly get a spate of press releases in my inbox that were completely irrelevant to what I covered. For example, my main beat was health, but I’d get press releases about financial products.

I would ask one of the senders why this was happening and they’d say, “Oh, Cision (the company that now owns PRNewswire) included you on a list of qualified journalists for news.”

Nope. Each year they (and similar services) harvest my email address of my website (where it clearly stated I do not accept press releases), and sell it as part of a qualified list of journalists. Looking into my email records, this has been going on since 2008. Each year I’d email (and even call) them multiple times to ask to be removed from their database. They’d do it, and then the next year it would happen all over again.

So know that when Cision says they’re offering you a list of “qualified journalists,” they are scraped addresses and you are essentially sending spam.

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John R. Rotten February 5, 2019 at 2:05 pm

As a working journalist, I can say from experience PRNewswire is possibly the worst in its class. Most days I can’t log in or the site just doesn’t work at all. Of course if you want to view photos or see the contact information on a press release, which I’d say is pretty important to all stakeholders, you have to be logged in. To top it all off, the search function doesn’t work correctly, most times I have to use Google to do a site search to find a release that is a week or two old. Not sure what they charge to post a release, but it’s way too much given all the roadblocks they throw in front of the people you are trying to reach with said release, like journalists.

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JC June 27, 2019 at 1:43 pm

I worked for PRN for almost a year and I can attest. We were often told in team meetings to only focus on the positive aspects of a report. If the report was horrendous, we would often make up an excuse that a larger company sent a release the same day that overshadowed their release and we would persuade them into sending another release. Aka making more sales. It’s a deceptive practice, but they keep throwing money at their salesforce to keep them there. As a former employee, I would say to avoid at all costs. Unless you’re a publicly traded company, you have no use for this service.

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