Yes, But You’ll Have To Pay A Princely Fortune To Run A Newsworthy One
I must admit that it has been more than one year since I last wrote and distributed a press release for a client. No, I haven’t removed myself from this important segment of freelance writing nor have my customers decided to avoid me. Rather, most of my clients (who are small business operators or entrepreneurs) realize that in order to have a press release that gets their news noticed, it must offer two all-important things – compelling writing and rock solid distribution.
Providing top notch, search engine optimized writing is standard for all of my customers. However, when it comes to distribution, only the best distributors are really worth using and they come with a price.
As far as my crafting the release, allow me to offer to you a sampler for a client who asks me to write a 500 word release announcing his new product: I fashion the release based on what the product is all about, including relevant information about the designer, distributor, pricing and perhaps some marketing information. I also include a pair of quotes, one from the designer of the product, the other from the American distributor, concluding with a non-promotional call to action.
Writing Plus Distribution Adds Up
My charge for writing this type of release is $149, but that price doesn’t include distribution. Some of my clients prefer to handle distribution themselves, while others use me to find the right package for them. I provide this step for no extra charge — a pass through expense with no mark up – which means I add the distributor’s cost to my charge to determine a final price.
A few years back most of my clients would have been happy to use a middle of the road distributor such as PR Leap, one who offered a flat fee of about $50 which included Google News distribution as well as being picked up by Ask.com, Moreover and a handful of news aggregator sites. At that price my clients would also be able to link out to relevant sites and eventually the hosted press release would gain PageRank which would be an additional plus for the linked site.
But there was a fault with this plan and a big one at that – the press release would get published as expected, distributed via Google News and disseminated by several news aggregators, but as far as being picked up and turned into a story by a reporter, that rarely happened.
Top Notch Distributors Rule
The problem with middle of the road distributors is that they have been overwhelmed by the low-budget sites, those distributors who offer their services at cut-rate costs while allowing virtually anything to be published. This means that both the “news” and “worthy” aspect of what a press release is supposed to contain is missing, the sort of “spamtastic” information ignored by the media.
Now back to the middle of the road distributor. PR Leap currently offers three plans priced at $49, $99 and $149, based on length of the release, media attachments, SEO tagging as well as Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) distribution. AP, UPI and Reuters are among the top news agencies, places where reporters frequently go to source their material. This means that if you want maximum pull via PR Leap, you’ll need to choose their top package which along with my fee will cost you $298.
That $298 fee may be something that larger businesses can swallow but it can be a stumbling block for some smaller operators. Even then, if reporters are cutting through the noise and going straight to the major press release sites (e.g., PRWeb or Business Wire) for their news, then the Media Visibility Package offered by PRWeb will cost my clients $360 in addition to my $149 fee, making it a $509 cost to run just one press release. Obviously, a press release can be a very good thing to do, but if you’re looking for guaranteed exposure through news organizations or other sites, then that $509 expense may be more of a gamble than what you can afford.
If I Had A Hammer….
As mentioned, I haven’t stopped providing press release services, but I do try to lower the expectations of clients who unreasonably expect to pay less in hopes of still getting more. With noise on the internet becoming louder and louder, getting the news out there becomes more difficult to do unless you’re willing to use a bigger hammer and bell in order to be heard. That hammer comes with a price, one that some aren’t willing to pay, which is fine as long as they are still investing in other means of getting the word out.