How to Use News Wire Services to Spread the Word
Back to PR Tutorial Index
A convenient and cost-effective method of distributing press releases is to enlist the aid of PR Newswire. This service can distribute your press releases electronically to publications through on-line computer services and databases such as the CompuServe Information Network.
You can target the audience by selecting reporters who write for:
• Business publications
• Daily newspapers
• Financial publications
• Computer publications
Additionally, you can select the region of the country you want to reach. This can be useful when your sales staff can only cover a certain part of the country.
If timing is a factor, such as releasing information after the stock market closes, the services will hold the release until the date and time you specify. Companies who must comply with the SEC disclosure laws can use receipts from their on-line services to prove they made the information available to the public at the same time and in the same manner.
An advantage of these services is that you can distribute hundreds of press releases without spending money on printing, copying, addressing and mailing. You’ll also avoid the expense of purchasing or renting a mailing list. Disadvantages of using a wire service include not knowing who at the periodical will see your material. This can reduce your effectiveness in following up. One other drawback is that not all reporters, analysts, and publications subscribe to these services.
Using either of the above mentioned news wire services is easy. When you want to transmit a release, you can send it via mail, FAX, or modem. They will copy-edit the release for style, and transmit the release. In some cases, the services will track the number of articles that appear as a result of the press release. Talk to your account representative to see if this service is available to you and at what cost.
Tip: Since your press release will be distributed electronically, the company name, address, phone and fax numbers that are part of your letterhead must be typed into the release. Include this information as the last paragraph of your body text.
PR Newswire charges a $100 annual membership fee, regardless of the number of releases you send. To distribute a 400-word press release to 2,000 daily newspapers, business magazines, and broadcast media, they charge about $465. Additionally, as part of their fee, they will usually send the release to trade publications in your field.
Note: Please contact PR NewsWire for accurate prices that you can use.
News wire services can be an important and economically effective method of getting your message out. Since these services can’t possibly target every key reporter you need to reach, you should consider phoning and mailing your materials to additional reporters as well.