Ah, the word FREE linked with press release distribution is wonderful. Only not all sites are wonderful. Press Release sites in general serve a purpose for those looking to tell the world about their product, brand or news and now these sites offer SEO, online postings, Blog postings etc... but not all sites are created equal, and some really aren't going to help you out.
So which ones are the best ones?
As a publicist I've done a great deal of testing and measuring with releases. I seem to get 99% of my actual media bookings through my own database. This is one that I've cultivated and put together by talking to reporters, producers, and editors. I book the most through my database because they know me and my work. I have found that using the service Industry Mailout- as opposed to Constant Contact has worked the best for me. And it's a local Edmonton company- so I love supporting them. But I rely on using press release sites as well for that added exposure for my clients. So here is a run down on the ones that I've found have worked well for me.
This site is probably the best FREE site around. It has a good reach for both Canada and the U.S. You are only allowed one free press release a day, and it might take awhile to upload, but I've actually had reporters contact me to reprint my releases as articles, so you know they watch this one.With the free service you won't get stats on where it's been posted, but if you google the title you'll see where it's been posted.
If you want to pay for a release I'd try the 49 dollar one. They send you a list of online sites that they are affiliated with, including ones that have picked you up. It's a pretty decent list and about a month later they'll send you a stats breakdown to let you know how well the open rate was and whether in terms of releases it was a success or not.
I've tested and measured the $139.00 one, but other than a little more online coverage, I didn't see a huge pick up rate. Now that could have been the subject matter, or just timing. So it might be worthwhile to check it out. 24-7 is distributed to Canada and that's something to always look for. You can refine the tags and industry as well.
Your press release has to go through a review process, but it's pretty painless. Generally if you pay the cash, it's going to get posted.
This site is a FREE one and is pretty good. You also get a 'read' on how many people have read your release. It doesn't have the best delivery service to Canada, but it goes up instantly which is always nice and after a week or so it seems to pick up a fair amount of traffic. Worthwhile for the FREE aspect
This is not to be confused with freepressrelease.com- without the hyphens. Very different sites. This one is decent. Not a lot of waiting, but tons of advertising to get through. And FREE. But I've had a couple of reprinted articles off of this site, so it's worthwhile to post here. You won't see a ton of action, but it might surprize you depending on your topic.
I HATE this site. Really hate it. At first it was all right for the FREE ones that you can post, but what they deem a press release is ridiculous, and they won't post it unless it qualifies. I've had countless releases rejected from their stupid review system for the dumbest reasons. Once it was for having the words Las Vegas in the title. Well duh, the city was Las Vegas. What's worse is that the press releases they rejected are ALWAYS the ones that I actually book media with- so you know they aren't the brightest kids on the block. Because of my high rejection rate I've basically crossed them off my list now. I do wonder however, if I did a paid one whether they would reject it as well, but I never see a lot of online listings for their releases- so what's the point. Give this one a miss, in my opinion.
This website is no longer in service. You will get a Site coming soon notice. Too bad, it was not a bad site to post. It had a good reach. I will continue to check to see if it ever comes back online and whether it stays free or goes another rate.
This is a Canadian Free Press Release site which is basically a wordpress that you post on. I have NO idea if anyone reads what is on this site, and there aren't any stats for you to check. I sometimes think it's good to post on a Canadian site, but if no one reads it then it's a waste of time.
This is primarily a U.S website that posts a fair amount of industry news, but lots of ads for escorts as well. It's claim to fame is that it says it's been featured in the NY times, but I'm not buying it at the moment. I'm still in a test and measure to see if this one will actually pan out- but you can't get any stats so it's not good for tracking.
http://www.wireservice.ca/ This is a Canadian wire service that I've just started using. It's out of Abbotsford and will only publish releases that fit the basic news-wire standards, so you need to know what you're doing. Avoid anything that just self-promotes and isn't news- it will get rejected. Make sure you have a good newsworthy angle. I've just started using this service, so I'm testing and measuring it to see how it goes. But it's FREE so why not give it a try. And it's mainly for Canadian news so that's a bonus.
This company is NOT free. They are a U.S based press release distribution service that was recently bought up by Vocus. It's a very good company if you want U.S releases. I do NOT recommend this for Canadian press releases - I've chatted with their representatives and even though don't suggest it for us. But if you are sending it to the U.S then it's worth it. And their prices are comparable. I've yet to book an actual interview, but their distribution is very good.
http://www.newswire.ca/This is Canada's newswire service and I have to say I am not happy with it. They put you through so many hoops to register and then the costs are ridiculous. It's NOT worth the aggravation. Instead, I requested the PDF's of where they distribute to and checked out the sites myself. Half of them you can find yourself online. Seriously, they charge by the word. I don't know how they expect to compete in the distribution biz, but this is NOT how to do it.
There are many sites I haven't touched upon here, mainly because I have either haven't used them, or they don't really serve any purpose for me. If you know of a really good press release distribution site, by all means let me know and I'll post it up and try it for myself.