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September 21, 2017

Right Tool for the Job: News Wire Service

My husband looks forward to home-improvement projects that require buying a new tool. He enjoys the excitement of learning a new skill and problem solving.

You might look at news distribution services the same way. Depending on your communication goals and the problem you’re trying to solve, a news wire service might be a tool you should consider.

A news wire service like PR Newswire or Business Wire sends your news release to thousands of writers, editors and news outlets with one push of a button. You can reach a specific sector, announce industry-changing services or quickly share urgent information (a product recall, for example.)

The cost depends on the distribution list you choose, the length of your news release and whether you include a photo or logo. This Weidert Group article compares the top four distribution services.

At JayRay, we’re using PR Newswire to send a series of three news releases for our client Travel Tacoma + Pierce County. Our goal is to boost national awareness of seasonal activities that make our area a unique travel destination. 

The first release highlighted Pierce County’s growing craft beer scene. We sent it out through PR Newswire’s list of travel writers and publications. 

The results: the release ran verbatim on 245 news outlets’ websites. PR Newswire provided coverage reports two hours after the release was sent, and again at five hours and 24 hours later.

When you consider whether to use a news wire service, make sure you have a newsworthy story. Reserve this tool for big news of national interest. This ABCs of a press release infographic will help you evaluate your piece.

Follow these six tips for PR Newswire success:

  1. Include no more than three hyperlinks in your release.
  2. Keep the release under 390 words (editors will add some formatting, and pricing is based in 400-word increments).
  3. Count everything on the page toward the 400-word limit.
  4. Spend time writing an interesting, descriptive headline. And don’t forget a subhead to keep readers reading.
  5. Schedule the distribution for an off-hour time, such as 8:06 a.m. Yours will stand out from the waves of releases sent on the hour.
  6. Send your release before 9:30 a.m. ET. By then the East Coast writers have decided their day’s tasks.

PR Newswire or other distribution services can be a boost for your media relations efforts. Your cause or organization will be mentioned nationwide. And, ideally, your news release will spark other story ideas or, in our case, interest a travel writer in visiting the Tacoma area.

What’s been your experience with PR Newswire? Tweet us at @JayRayAdsPR.