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This press release was successful because obviously the content was of interest to the media and it had a catchy attention grabbing headline. I feel that we used the narrative to not only gain interest in the story, but to gain sympathy and understanding of the author’s plight, which contributed to the press release success (more than 5,000 hits). One must tell a compelling story in a limited amount of space in a press release. It’s more than the who, what, when, and where model. You want the reader to be drawn in immediately.
A premium website, however, will aggressively pursue journalists and work to ensure clients receive traffic for their PR, but this might not be necessary if you’re announcing a minor bit of news that doesn’t require such a large-scale PR effort.
Aside from the cost of having the press release written, you’re spending nothing else if you’re using one of the free press release services, yet there’s the potential to benefit from the extensive exposure.
To be fair, we did expect this result, it is rare enough for someone to pick up news from some of the premium paid-for news wires and given the volume of free press releases being pumped out these days we would have been (pleasantly) surprised to find any pick up of our releases. When we did find a release that had been syndicated out to other sites none of those other sites came across as ‘high quality’, they were invariably loaded down with banner and AdSense advertising.
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Well, it depends. If you post on just a few of the better sites, you will likely get picked up by the search engines like Google and Yahoo, and will rank even better if you know how to optimize your release with keywords.
PR Newswire:  The PR Newswire iReach service does not include wire distribution. In order to have the ability to distribute your press release via the newswire network, you must be a member ($195/year).PR Newswire is the only service we reviewed to broadcast the image from your press release in Times Square. This unique feature isn’t likely to generate the same kind of media attention or online exposure that submitting your press release to newswires will, but you could capture an image of the broadcast for use in future promotional materials.
However, most press releases never accomplish that. Most press releases are just spray and pray. Nobody reads them, least of all the reporters and editors for whom they’re intended. Worst case, a badly-written press release simply makes your firm look clueless and stupid.
The following is a great press release example. It has a sales aspect to it (something you typically want), it’s on a topic that’s worthy of being written about, it reads like an actual article (another key attribute), and it’s got some good quotes in it as well.
It turns out that the author used a picture of a couple who had just gotten engaged.  When that couple found out their beloved picture was on the cover of this…well, not really sure what you’d call it…they were not very pleased.
In this guide I’ve given you all the tools you need to do it yourself, but many business owners – especially those without an in-house marketing rep – want someone else to handle writing their releases and submitting them. If that’s you, I manage the entire process for you, so you can focus on running your company.
On this site, the free distribution option allows you to use specific font styles to create a more customized press release.  For only $1 per release you can insert up to 3 images to add branding with a logo or enhance your release with pictures of an event or product.
eReleases: eReleases provides wire distribution via the Associated Press. What this means is that your press release will become accessible to more than 30,000 journalists, such as those writing for the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, etc. through the Associated Press’ webfeed.
There’s only one service I’d recommend for the syndication of your press release on social channels and that service is Pitch Engine. This is a social branding and marketing distribution service that you piggyback with your press release. It allows you to track social analytics and traction as you gain more headway. It’s advised you write an entirely unique carbon copy of the actual release you are posting (through conventional distribution channels) and use that post with Pitch Engine to gain even traction.
Whether you are a small business or author, if you have a website you should be distributing press releases on a regular basis to build your online presence. Press releases provide the media with the information they need to write a news story. For authors, a press release can announce a book signing, book reading, new book release, blog tour, celebrity endorsements, sponsorships, price changes, a new blog, awards, or other newsworthy events. A search engine optimized (SEO) press release can help generate media coverage, increase traffic to your website, improve your ranking in search engines, and attract new customers. Press releases are essential in a PR campaign.
Before evaluating your top options for the best press release distribution, it’s important to understand why organizations need to use press release companies and press release distribution services in the first place.
Submitting a press release is self-explanatory and somewhat repetitious. Once you submit a press release at one of my recommended sites, you will realize that the other sites have a similar submission process. Depending on how many press releases that you intend to submit (and how different they are in content from one another), you may want to narrow down your selection.