PR Newswire – Worth the Money?

By Mark Macias

Clients are always asking me what I think of press releases posted on the PR newswires.

“Why can’t we just write a press release and post it on PRWeb or PRNewsWires? It gets picked up by everyone.” They say.

It seems simple enough on the surface.

PRWeb writes on their home page, “Generate Buzz Online… Forever. Your news lives on the web forever, earning you new business time and time again.”

PRNewswire makes an even bolder claim on their website: “PR Newswire is the authoritative source of news and information for leading global media organizations…. We distribute to more than 200,000 media points and 8,000 websites, offering the most ways to reach your audience online and off.”

So will paid press releases on these PR newswire distribution outlets generate buzz for your business? It depends on what kind of buzz you are looking for and what the announcement is you will be posting.

When are PR Newswires Helpful?

The PR newswires are productive outlets when your business is trying to get something on the record. If your business is leading a new frontier, you need to announce it to the world and PR newswires are a productive tool in these cases. In the future, others will see proof that you were first. The backlinks from these PR newswires will also help you with SEO.

But press releases on the PR newswires should never be confused as a media strategy. Notice the emphasis is on “PR newswires” and not “newswires.”

Recently, a spokesperson with a New York City agency called me and asked what I thought of PR newswires. She told me New York City approved funding for press releases with the PR newswires. I used to work with her at CBS, so I threw the question right back at her.

“Did you ever once go to the PR newswires to look for a story when you were at CBS? Reporters and producers know the PR newswires are paid announcements, so they aren’t going to the PR newswires, looking for ideas.”

She agreed. And that’s why if you’re looking to achieve earned media coverage, you need to do the hard work and actually pitch the reporters.

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017 and 2018 Strategic PR Firm of the Year. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the Financial PR Firm of the Year. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s also a frequent contributor with CNBC and author of the books, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media and the Tao of PR.