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PR 101: Should you be using a press release newswire service?

Press releases are a big part of public relations. It’s one of the most effective ways for your brand to communicate with the public, such as to announce or promote a product or service, for branding, or repairing reputational damage. The traditional way of getting press releases to the public used to be by sharing them with journalists and hoping the media house would print either the press release or a story about it. There is another way, though. Sometimes when individuals or companies wish to find an easy way to distribute information publicly, they can turn to a press release newswire or PR newswire service.

Digital press releases are becoming popular because they enable the poster to add links to various web pages, allowing the consumer to get additional value when reading it. Furthermore, they serve as a marketing and branding tool, highlighting the company’s growth and reminding the public of its value and history. Due to the advances in content marketing, a press release can use search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to show up on the first pages of search engine results.

The service works by allowing a poster to access a press release newswire or PR newswire system and input the information on a form. Then the press release may or may not be picked up by a news station. Businesses can pay to submit their announcements to the service, ensuring their message has credibility and an enhanced possibility of being used in a story.

What is the difference between a press release newswire service and a PR agency?

PR newswire and press release newswire publicity
Press releases can help to get the word out about important company announcements and updates.

A public relations (PR) agency is in the business of identifying, managing and repairing the public’s opinion of an individual or company. Because a press release newswire essentially enables businesses to distribute their press releases, there may be a mix-up of the two. While press release dissemination is a component of PR, that is not all that your PR agency can do for you.

Even though PR experts interact with the media and journalists, their profession differs from a newswire service in a few ways. A newswire is an automated service that distributes news directly into editorial systems, terminals, or to journalists. For example, with the release of a financial report, a newswire delivers up-to-date information, enabling online traders and investors to analyse and make their transactions in real-time. The most common use of a newswire service has been to share press releases widely to a broader base.

Read also: What is public relations: How to explain the value of PR to your CEO.

Pros & cons of a newswire service

Pros:

  1. Able to reach a vast pool of media

The beauty of a newswire service is its reach. It is simple for a company to create and distribute multiple press releases, getting a higher probability that the local or regional news stations or print media will publish them. PR newswires often build an extensive list of media and arrange for placements within some of them as a paid service to their partners. It is guaranteed coverage, but may not be exactly what you want (see cons).

      2. You don’t have to have a strong narrative

A press release doesn’t have to have a robust narrative to be published through a press release newswire. The goal is to put all the necessary information, eye-catching headlines, newsworthy subject matter, and the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why). Additionally, the content should be scannable, straightforward, and factual.

A PR newswire service may get you coverage, but it might not be what you want

Cons

  1. No connection/rapport with the media

The downside of using a newswire is that you do not build a rapport with the media. Companies would share their information directly with the media and get to know the journalists in the past. 

With the emergence of press releases newswires, businesses can post their messages far and wide through the internet without contacting individuals. This change now means that business people have to rely on the media to run with the report or story without making personal connections.

        2. You may not get the coverage you want

Despite the press release newswire’s ability to bring publicity to your business, you have no control over how the media will cover the story or the impact it will have on your audience. If the public does not like your message, widespread condemnation can occur, and your company may need to apologise. 

Also, not all coverage is equal. Coverage from a newswire may appear in great publications like Market Watch, Yahoo, and more, but that doesn’t mean their readers see it. It most likely will not appear on the homepage, their socials or is easily discoverable unless you are specifically looking for it.

A PR agency will need to step in and fix the reputational damage your organisation has just suffered.

Read also: Understanding PR campaigns: what is it for and when you need one.

The big question: Should you use a press release newswire?

press release newswire service
Know when to use a press release newswire service to elevate your PR strategies.

So, should you choose a newswire service or look for a different option? There is nothing wrong with using this service; the key is to complement it with a PR agency, which can add significant solutions to your communication and branding needs.

A newswire is perfect for sending out a non-newsworthy piece of news, for example, information for investors and partners.

With several companies available, such as PRNewswire, Businesswire, MediaOutreach and Prowly, with different pricing and benefits, you should carefully consider the cost of using a newswire service. Some have expenses, including annual memberships, set numbers of emails per month, the use of images and videos, and international distribution costs.

Furthermore, you must ask about the number of outlets the service can distribute your press releases to and whether the distribution is targeted or random. It is best if the press release newswire can pitch to specific journalists in regional, local, or national outlets.

Using a press release newswire service is a great idea when paired with PR agency services. The overall goals of the press release are to pass information to the public while branding and promoting your company. A PR professional will align your newswire message with your company’s objectives and conduct analytics to assess the impact of its image and communication and tidy up any issues that arise.

Investing in public relations strategies will help you build better connections with consumers, reinforce their trust in your brand, generate new leads, and boost sales. Furthermore, a PR expert will engage the online audience, creating a positive narrative about your business as trustworthy and authentic. Over time, communicating with customers, managing reputation, and regular audits regarding brand performance will increase a company’s visibility and address potential scandals efficiently. Whether you’re engaging with a PR agency or a press release newswire, the bottom line is that it has to align with your organization’s strategies and goals.

Want to learn more about the best PR strategies for your business? Speak to us at hello(@)syncpr.co today.

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