Wire Distribution Services 101

December 15, 2021

Wire distribution services are tools used frequently by our media relations team to send press releases to a large, targeted audience of journalists, social networks, bloggers, influencers, and traditional or digital media outlets in different locations. Wire services electronically distribute press releases to a broadly defined group of media, thus making the information instantly, widely available for pick-up.

Why Use a Wire Service?
Press release distribution services are great for dispersing your press release to thousands of outlets at a time, and many offer the ability to target your press release by industry and location, helping to ensure you reach your intended audience on a large scale. Wire distribution services can also help boost SEO by leading to searchable, live story links. Adding tags or links within a press release can also drive traffic to landing pages, white papers and social media pages. In addition, distribution services can be a huge benefit to small business owners with few media relations resources, as many offer added benefits like press release writing, editing, proofing and consultation services.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Service

While there are numerous distribution service options to choose form, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each to ensure they fit within your clients’ goals.

  • Traffic – How much traffic does the press release distribution service have on a daily basis? You can usually find this information on the service’s website. The more traffic a service has, the more it’s watched by other sites and search engines and the more value it will bring.
  • Distribution Channels – What sites, media outlets, and newswire services does the distribution service offer? In many cases you’ll be comparing levels of membership. For example, a gold level with a distribution service may provide access to some channels, while their premium membership may add many more channels to choose from. You may also want to look to see if they offer localized distribution options or state-by-state distribution.
  • Features and Add-ons – Compare some of the extras. For example, does the service provide the ability to add a logo, graphics, images, links and embedded video to your release? Do they support social media sharing and publication?
  • Analytics – It’s much easier to measure and track success if a press release distribution service provides some analytics. Can you evaluate performance data and engagement for each press release? Can you manage press releases from a dashboard and create reports from the analytics?
  • Ease of Use – How easy and intuitive is the user interface? Many press release distribution services provide access to video tutorials. Take some time to review the service and make sure you’re comfortable. If it’s too complicated, you may miss out on some features and functions that could improve your results.
  • Cost – Choosing a press release distribution service is generally a matter of comparing the features you want and need, and then balancing those with your budget. Paying more doesn’t necessarily get you more, just like free isn’t always a great idea. Compare features and functionality before cost. Many are priced through a package, membership, or price per-press release. However, there are some services out there, for example Online PR News, PR Fire, News Wire Today, PR Zoom, etc., which offer free distribution.

Making the Most of Your Wire Distribution

Once you’ve selected the right service for your needs, make sure to maximize your success with the following best practices:

  • Plan Ahead – Determine the best time and day to distribute with your client. Aim to distribute at an “off time” to avoid getting lost in the clutter, and make sure to send to wire in advance of distribution, taking note of required turnaround time for distribution approval.
  • Optimize – Include links, tags, photos and video!
  • Review – Be sure to proof closely, even if the release/content has already been reviewed or approved. It can be difficult to request edits or release removal after it has already been submitted.

Press release distribution services may not be the solution for everyone, but when incorporated into a multi-channel media outreach plan in tandem with direct-to-editor outreach, these services can be exponentially beneficial in improving the reach and impact of your announcement. And no matter which wire service you use, it is still imperative to target journalists and editors directly to drive comprehensive results.