Some of you have emailed me asking about online press releases and the companies out there that provide this service. I have done some research, but let me preface this by explaining that many of these companies primarily serve corporations, tech companies and agencies. While I have seen some online press releases created by non-profits, they are in the minority. And these companies tend to be on the expensive side — fair warning.
An alternative to spending big bucks for the services of some of these companies is to simply create your own online press releases, placing them on your web site (if you have a site with a content management system), inserting some social media code that permits readers to give your release more visibility, adding links to any other relevant sites for research purposes, and emailing the local media with links to your releases.
I have just begun doing that, and urge you to see one small example here. This particular example includes related links and I have added a sharethis button for promoting the release on social bookmarking sites. Sharethis is easy to obtain by simply going onto their website and saving the code for their button.
Now, let’s talk about online press release services and the companies that provide them. If I don’t provide a price, it’s because I couldn’t find a price on their website — a sure sign that you might be spending serious bucks:
1. PRNewswire — one of the big players in the online press release business, PRNewswire is used by large companies around the world. Although I understand their prices are pretty steep, PRNewswire provides a “Nonprofit Toolkit” that you can purchase.
2. eReleases — Another pretty extensive service, which can include writing your press releases, sending them out via database distribution to media outlets, and submitting them to social media. eReleases claims a national press release distribution list of 17,500 sources. The cost? A mere $399 for a press release of 500 words or less.
3. PRleap — A much less extravagant distribution site, which provides many of the services offered by the more well-known companies at an affordable cost — $49 per release.
4. i-Newswire — Finally, an actual free press release website. You can use their template to enter a press release, but understand that you cannot include links in the basic release. For $25 per release, you can upgrade to publish “featured” releases with all the bells and whistles.
5. PRBuzz — For $99 per release, you can easily get online press releases, complete with links, onto this site. PRBuzz also has subpages just for Education releases.
6. OpenPR — This is a fully free press release website that features an easy content tool to enter press release information. With 47,000 releases on the site, it’s one of the smaller players. But you’ll find some Education releases on the site, mostly from education service companies and some colleges.
Remember that some of these sites do offer regional press release distribution services, whihch will drastically reduce your price. If you’re strictly zoning your releases for local distribution, inquire about this option.