June 1, 2016

To Wire or Not to Wire, That is the Question

There are two schools of thought in the PR and social media world in regards to distributing press releases through the wire.

School One: Must. Send. Over. Wire. That’s the way it’s always been done, right? Don’t journalists still use those sometimes? Doesn’t it improve SEO? Won’t it make me look more legitimate to stockholders, and the public? (A journalist from Forbes weighs in here on why a wire service may be helpful.)

School Two: The wire is a waste of time and money. No one sees it. It gets back-linked. Surely my personalized emails will garner more coverage and real stories. Does anyone even use wire services anymore? (FitSmallBusiness agrees that tailoring pitches to targeted journalists makes more sense.)

The truth is, there’s some truth to both schools. Here is what the Olives know to be true (in most cases):

  1. Certain wires cost an arm and a leg. Why spend almost $1,000 sending a release over the wire if it’s purely for SEO? Instead, pump that $1,000 into better SEO optimization tools.
  2. Some wires, on the other hand, are pretty reasonable in cost. We recently used one of PR Web’s deluxe bundles for a client and for less than $400, they amped their SEO (confirmed by their SEO team) and made sure the release was showing up in Google results, so that anyone searching for the story would have somewhere to click.
  3. Wire services were originally created in a time when there was NO email. Zilch. PR pros were forced to fax information (yes FAX!) or send snail mail press releases to editors. Wire services simplified this process and ensured all of the major publications received the news.
  4. Because of the aforementioned, in many ways newswires are obsolete for what they originally intended. We have access to hundreds of thousands of email addresses (and are on an “I love you” basis with a lot of journalists), so we can just shoot our contact a quick note with a press release in the body of our email for a faster response a more meaningful story than just a posted press release.

At the end of the day, companies need to determine the real reasons for wanting a newswire service. If the SEO team is encouraging it and they see an ROI, we’ll gladly oblige. But if there isn’t any ROI, save your money and put it toward an additional marketing budget that you KNOW will really move the needle, like a boosted post on social media, funds towards a big PR media event in New York or a more robust SEO tool.

What is your company’s press release distribution regime?