What are the Best Online Press Release Distribution Services?

Portfolio Image

May 25, 2018

What are the top press release distribution websites? Is there really such a list? When it comes to PR distribution sites, the number of credible choices is quite limited.

Obviously, since this article is written by 24-7PressRelease.com (where many of our clients use our services for tech press release distribution), one might immediately think this article is biased. So, we will limit what this article's content to information provided by others.

The top press release websites we are going to look at include:

  • PR Newswire
  • 24-7 Press Release
  • Business Wire
  • Marketwired
  • Canada Newswire (for Canadians)

PR Newswire
PR Newswire has built an excellent reputation in the PR business as one of the top choices for press release distribution. Herbert Muschel originally founded the businesses in 1954, operating the service out of his home for 15 years in the prestigious Manhattan neighborhood in New York. Check out further details here.

Over the years, PR Newswire's ownership changed through various acquisitions, including being sold to Western Union in 1971. This made sense as Western Union, a financial services business, founded in 1851 by Ezra Cornell , already had the infrastructure to support such a business including telco lines and tele-printers.

In 1978 the business then began using the Associated Press message handling and transmission system. AP is an US news agency that was formed in 1846 and governed by an elected board of directors from major news organizations in the industry. Four years later, in 1982, PR Newswire was bought out by United Business Media a company that was originally founded in 1918.

Over the years there were more acquisitions including a purchase by eWatch, a service that is used to monitor websites and use-net groups, in 2000; Vintage Filings in 2007 and The Fuel Team in mid 2009. All of these acquisitions successfully helped strengthen PR Newswire's business model, as PR Newswire was then bought out by Cision (the owner of Gorkana Group) in 2015 for $841 million. This was a $810 cash and $31 million preferred equity deal according to an article from The New York Times. Cision, which was originally headquartered in Chicago, is now also the headquarters for Cision/PR Newswire. What does all this mean? They have a long history and credibility.

PR Newswire is a giant in the industry, one which many Fortune 500 companies depend on for distribution of their news to the media. Some of their recent most recognizable clients would include Penske (truck leasing), Disney Cruise Line and Sprint.

Although PR Newswire is definitely a recognizable name in the industry, with a good reputation to boot, the pricing of PR Newswire and other national distribution options is highly priced, which smaller businesses or start-ups may find harder on the wallet; but a great choice nonetheless.

24-7 Press Release Newswire

24-7 Press Release Newswire is a privately held PR distribution site founded in 2004 by Michael Iwasaki and David Wong with Philip Louie joining in 2007 as a managing and principal partner. Philip leads the company's corporate vision, business direction and technology strategy. From the outset, the goal of the company was to provide an affordable news distribution option for businesses that didn't have big marketing budgets.

Through their Agency Preferred program, 24-7 Press Release works with various marketing, PR and communication companies locally and internationally. Marketing and PR Communications companies are rewarded with bulk discounted rates based on volume, which in turn provides options for their clients.

At 24-7 Press Release Newswire, stories are distributed through a multi-channel process to major news outlets, journalists, online social media and bloggers through its network of partners and journalists including Associated Press, PR Newswire, Frankly Media, Acquire Media, and Financial Content, to name a few. With the option of the Mass Media Visibility package, 24-7 Press Release ties into the PR Newswire network, providing further enhanced visibility to those looking for more.

24-7PressRelease.com has built a reputation as one of the leading press release distribution services for smaller to medium sized businesses. 24-7 Press Release Newswire offers high-quality distribution at a moderate price point, providing an excellent "bang for buck." They do not claim to have the highest level of distribution, nor does the pricing structure reflect this. However, they are known in the industry as one of the most effective news distribution companies for what you spend. This is an excellent option for smaller businesses without big marketing budgets.

24-7 Press Release Newswire's customers range from small and medium-sized businesses to national and international organizations such as Church's Chicken, Cruise.com, Pardee Homes, NASA and major hotel chains.

24-7 Press Release Newswire is popular for tech press release distribution and known as one of the top press release websites for smaller businesses, allowing their customers to walk away with a satisfied feeling, having received adequate coverage. 24-7 Press Release Newswire, through their Media Desk for journalists (founded in 2013) has attracted thousands of journalists to register to receive their news, including Canadian journalists. With this, 24-7 Press Release Newswire looks to add Canadian news distribution to their repertoire hopefully in 2018.

For more information and reviews, check out G2 Crowd at: https://www.g2crowd.com/products/24-7-press-release-newswire/reviews

Business Wire
Another company that frequently appears on the "best online press release services" lists is Business Wire. Founded shortly after PR Newswire, Business Wire (a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway) was founded 57 years ago in 1961. Like PR Newswire, it is an excellent choice for public companies. Business Wire meets the criteria required to disseminate financial news for publicly listed companies. According to WikiPedia, Business Wire distributes between 500 and 1,000 press releases daily.

The founder, Lorry Lokey, was born March 27, 1927 and raised in Portland Oregon. After earning his bachelor's degree from Stanford University in journalism, he started employment with United Press. Armed with business savvy and his background in journalism, Lokey founded Business Wire in 1961 in San Francisco, CA. The first day of business, Lokey had seven clients and soon began to expand, eventually opening offices around the world and totaling 450 employees by 2003.

Similar to PR Newswire, Business Wire also caters to publicly traded companies, providing full financial media coverage. For information pertaining to "public disclosure" requirements in "Regulation FD", check out this link here at WikiPedia.

According to G2 Crowd, Business Wire pricing for US Metro regions begins at USD $325 for up to 400 words.

Canada Newswire (CNW)
For those needing Canadian press release distribution, many have turned to Canada Newswire which was founded by Joseph Adair Porter Clark. In 2013, PR Newswire Acquired CNW, which is now, like PR Newswire, under the Cision umbrella.

You can now select various locations for your press release distribution. However Canadian distribution is not as extensive as U.S. distribution. This should not be surprising, given that Canada has a population of 36.29 million (2016) in Canada compared with a U.S. population of 323.4 million (2016).

To find pricing on Canadian press distribution, you need to contact the company directly.

Another company with Canadian press release distribution roots is Marketwired. Marketwired was founded in 1993 and their headquarters is located in Toronto, Ontario. According to WikiPedia, in January 2000, Marketwired received 17.5 million dollars in venture capital. A few years later, in 2003, the company formed a partnership with NASDAQ. In return, their services would be recommended to listed companies. In February 2016 the company was acquired by NASDAQ.

For those not familiar with the NASDAQ, it is, by market cap, the second largest exchange in the world followed by the New York Stock Exchange. The acronym NASDAQ officially stands for "National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations" and was originally founded in 1971 as the world's first electronic market.

For those of you who are involved with investor relations, you are probably already know that Marketwired also satisfies disclosure and regulatory filing requirements. Pricing for Marketwired was not readily available on their website so you will have to contact them directly to get that information.

Many of the top press release distribution companies have similar distribution channels and access to news services like the Associated Press. Some of the bigger players (24-7 Press Release Newswire aside), have pricing that falls within the same range, with an assortment of different a-la-carte options. For instance, PR Newswire is known for targeting individual states but customers also can choose their US National distribution, which may be popular for multi-national Fortune 500 companies.

Marketwired, with its financial background and connection with NASDAQ, may be a good choice for financial news distribution. Although of the larger players (Business Wire & PR Newswire) are certainly capable, with a direct connection to NASDAQ, you can't go wrong with Marketwired.

Another aspect of using a press release distribution services is your "Account Interface," which can be a personal choice. Most news distribution service interfaces will not be mobile compatible, strictly based on the amount of information required to send a press release to the media. There are many fields and it is generally not a quick process.

There are different ways of getting your news to these distribution services as well. For instance, with PR Newswire, you typically upload your press release as a Word document. At 24-7 Press Release, you cut and paste your information from a Word document. Some prefer one method, some prefer another; the choice is individual.

For smaller companies or marketing companies with smaller clients (under USD $5 million annually) looking to establish some online visibility and get their stories into the hands of journalists, 24-7 Press Release Newswire is certainly an affordable option for regular news story distribution. The interface is clean and easy to use and like many of the others out there, you have access to statistics and do receive a report of those media partners publishing your press release. This can be handy for marketing and communications companies that want to share some of this visibility with their clients.

Sometimes it takes trying a couple or a few of these services out to find out which one works best for you. However do keep in mind, much of it has to do with timing. For more information on when is the best time to distribute a press release, check out our previous article 'Press Release Distribution Basics: Timing is a Big Factor in Achieving Success'.