Something we’re often asked is where do you send a press release and what are the best free press release submission sites and press release distribution services.
So if you’re reading this, the chances are you’ve already written one and now need to find out how to do a press release submission. That’s why we’ve fully updated our guide to the best press release submission sites for 2021.
If you’re still yet to actually write one though, you can learn everything you need to know about writing a press release in our Ultimate Startup Press Release Guide. You can also download our press release template and examples here, to make the process super easy.
First things first, we need to talk about SEO
As we were writing the updated version of this page, we did what all good copywriters do and reviewed the other page-one search results on Google. To our surprise, a lot of the advice around backlinking for SEO was way, way out of date. Some of the pages were dated as far back as 2009, and as SEO years are similar to cat years, the advice was from another era.
The general consensus within the SEO industry is that press release submission sites are no longer an effective means of earning beneficial backlinks. Long story short, a few years ago Google got fed up with people abusing these platforms to gain backlinks.
As a result most reputable press release submission websites now set all backlinks placed in press releases as nofollow by default. This means no link equity is passed onto the site that’s being linked to. While some paid and free press release distribution services still offer follow backlinks, the benefit is going to be negligible in 2021.
However, all this talk of using press release submission sites to earn backlinks slightly misses the point. If this is what you’re after, then these websites should just be seen as a means to an end. They provide a platform for journalists to look for stories. And if a journalist writes up one of these press releases as an article in a news publication site, the backlink in this article will pass link equity. So it’s through earned media wins that you can combine PR and SEO.
What is a press release?
A press release is a document that communicates your startup announcements to journalists in an effective way.
Press releases have formulaic structures that are designed to get a company’s message across as clearly as possible.
We know, writing press releases can be tricky.
Yet, writing press releases is a valuable art that can propel your startup into the spotlight of industry influencers and journalists.
Where do I submit a press release?
While you’ve no doubt landed on this page as your looking for press release submission sites, it’s important to fully understand the context and process here. There are, broadly speaking, two main routes for sending out a press release:
- Send a press release directly to journalists, in the hope they’ll write it up into an article. Our Ultimate Startup Press Release Guide provides a step by step guide on how to do this.
- Publish a press release onto press release submission sites. This is what this guide focuses on.
Moreover, as the news industry has changed so much over the last decade or so, these press release platforms have also evolved in order to stay relevant.
Many of them now offer loads of other services such as contact information databases, social media influencer access, media monitoring and PR analytics.
For example, sites dedicated solely to video press release services are becoming increasingly popular with businesses big or small. Video press releases allow businesses to visualise their story, tapping into the growing consumer desire for video-based content.
What is a press release submission?
Press release submission websites are platforms that allow you to publish press releases that you’ve written. These platforms then serve as useful sources of news for journalists and reporters who are looking for stories. [Dodgy metaphor alert] Think of them as wholesalers or stockists for the news industry.
What is the difference between a paid and a free press release submission site?
There are both fee-paying and free press release submission sites available.
The free online press release submission services are very basic as you’ll see from the below list. If your objective is to earn media coverage is recognized publications, then it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll achieve this using free submission sites. Therefore, set your expectations accordingly and just see these services as a way of getting a small bit of exposure at zero cost (although some question if this is even worth the effort).
It’s said that some free press release submission sites are great for technophobes given their easy-to-use interface. Trust us, though. Sacrificing quality for usability is a sure-fire way to condemn your press release to a journalist’s spam folder.
The fee-charging platforms, particularly the market leaders, offer enormous reach into major news and media outlets. However, these services can be very expensive and don’t guarantee results.
The pros and cons of press release distribution services
As discussed above, there are two ways of sending out a press release to get media coverage. One is to send it directly to journalists, while the other is to use one or more press release submission sites.
The benefits of using a submission site, versus sending a press release directly to journalists, are the following:
- It’s super quick; you don’t need to find journalist email addresses nor write a personalized pitch to each of them
- You can get instant access to the world’s largest media organizations
- Some platforms allow you to target a specific niche or industry
- Platforms often syndicate press releases, increasing your visibility
However, there are some downsides to these platforms, when compared to pitching press releases directly to journalists:
- From our experience, we get better media coverage results when pitching a press release directly to a journalist
- You don’t get direct access to journalists, so can’t build up relationships with the press
- As discussed above, the SEO benefit, in terms of backlinks, is now negligible to none
How to do a press release submission
If you’re using one of these press release distribution services, then the actual submission is super easy. Most services allow you to simply copy-and-paste your content into an online text editor, then upload any multimedia that you want to include. You can then add hyperlinks and other functionality before you publish it.
And in terms of outreach, most of the premium services will let you choose which types of publications you want to target.
What are the best practices to submit news releases successfully?
Your submitted news release has the best chance of being successful if you take into account the recipient.
Think about the best time of day to send your news release to a specific journalist, relative to their timezone and schedule. Personalized emails, as well, go a whole lot further than copy-pasted emails, and journalists can see these coming a mile away. If your news release is submitted in a structured and engaging way, you’ll give yourself the best chance of being published.
What happens once I publish a press release onto a submission site?
Your press release will appear ‘as is’ (i.e. a carbon copy of what you wrote) on the platform that you submitted it to. It’s then distributed to relevant news and media organizations. This is when the magic happens.
If a journalist and/or publication is interested in the story, they’ll pick it up and run with it in one of two ways:
- Publish it ‘as is’ on their own publication. This is literally a copy-and-paste of the press release that you wrote.
- A journalist will write it up into an article, using quotes and other information contained in the press release.
Our list of paid press release submission websites 2021 (which we think are the best)
|Name||Prices from||Description||Key Features|
|Newswire||$149 per domestic press release and $1,649 for per global press release||One of the |
and influencer marketing.
|Can include |
Reuters and AP outreach, as
well as the
include a range of multimedia
Analytics is also available to
track campaign success.
|PR Newswire||Around $1,000 |
|Claims to have |
the largest press release
social channels, but with such
comes a high
|Access to 4,000 websites, 3,000 media outlets, |
and 550 news
content systems. Embed
and audio clips. And campaign
|Business Wire||Around $800 |
|Claims to offer |
global coverage, reaching more
media outlets in 162 countries.
corporates who need to comply with regulatory requirements
categories, along with a global
in more than 20 languages.
|24-7 Press |
|$19 to $389 per |
|Specialist press release |
service for small to medium-size businesses,
operating since 2004.
|The cheapest |
posts a press
release to their website, while
the higher tiers distribute it
across AP, and
1000s of media
Multimedia can also be
|MarketWired||Around $460 |
can be tailored
for any client
and any type of outreach.
|Outreach can be targeted at |
media or speciality media. Also
tailored towards investor
meet regulatory filing and
|Globe Newswire||Data not |
|North American and European |
service, focusing on media and
|Allows a large |
content to be
press releases aswell as media
monitoring and analytics.
|Pressat||£110 per |
|UK focused |
distribution and guaranteed
engine indexing and analytics.
|PR Underground||$49.99 to $199 |
|Press release |
operating at the more affordableend of the market.
|Releases are |
sent to Google
News and 80
NBC, as well as
|eReleases||$299 to $499 per press release||Press release distribution site that tries to offer the best value for money. It offers all new customers a $100 discount on its Buzz Builder plan.||Releases are up to 400 words and are sent to over 4700 syndicated submission sites.|
Our list of free press release submission sites (fully updated for 2021)
|Key Features||Moz Domain |
|Online PR News||Probably the most established out of all the free press release submissions sites. They offer a freemium model, where the most basic press release package is free.||The basic |
package allows users to publish a press release
for 90 days on
|PR.com||Similar model to Online PR News,where the most basic package is free.||The free |
distribution on pr.com,
some third partyand news sites and RSS feeds.
|PR Free||Another |
freemium press release
service, with themost basic
free to use.
|The free service allows |
|PR Log||It’s a pretty |
site (by which I mean very
dated), but it’s
|The free service distributes pressreleases onsite, across search |
engines, social media and RSS
|Press Release |
|As per the |
above, this site
is now looking alittle bit dated,
but it offers a
|The free service allows you to |
press release to 20 PR sites.
|PR Fire||Allows any user to create an |
publish a press
release with it’s free press
|The free service is pretty limited, as it only |
press release on its own
platform, which is then indexed by Google.
|Newswire Today||The basic |
submissions, but with very
|The basic |
publishes press releases onto
their site and
basic RSS feeds.
|PR Sync||This service is |
completely free, with the
platform relyingon its
stories to the
|This is a |
platform, rather than a
- ^ Ultimate Startup Press Release Guide (publicize.co)
- ^ press release template and examples (publicize.co)
- ^ general consensus (www.searchenginejournal.com)
- ^ earning beneficial backlinks (blog.linkody.com)
- ^ fed up (searchengineland.com)
- ^ nofollow (www.wordstream.com)
- ^ link equity (moz.com)
- ^ PR and SEO (publicize.co)
- ^ blog post (publicize.co)
- ^ Ultimate Startup Press Release Guide (publicize.co)
- ^ video from Newswire (www.newswire.com)
- ^ press release submission service (publicize.co)
- ^ journalist email addresses (publicize.co)
- ^ Newswire (www.newswire.com)
- ^ $149 per domestic press release and $1,649 for per global press release (www.newswire.com)
- ^ PR Newswire (www.prnewswire.com)
- ^ Business Wire (www.businesswire.com)
- ^ 24-7 Press (www.24-7pressrelease.com)
- ^ Release (www.24-7pressrelease.com)
- ^ $19 to $389 per (www.24-7pressrelease.com)
- ^ release (www.24-7pressrelease.com)
- ^ MarketWired (www.marketwired.com)
- ^ Globe Newswire (www.westuc.com)
- ^ Pressat (pressat.co.uk)
- ^ £110 per (www.pressat.co.uk)
- ^ submission (www.pressat.co.uk)
- ^ PR Underground (www.prunderground.com)
- ^ $49.99 to $199 (www.prunderground.com)
- ^ per release (www.prunderground.com)
- ^ eReleases (www.ereleases.com)
- ^ Online PR News (onlineprnews.com)
- ^ PR.com (www.pr.com)
- ^ PR Free (www.prfree.org)
- ^ PR Log (www.prlog.org)
- ^ Press Release (www.pressreleasepoint.com)
- ^ Point (www.pressreleasepoint.com)
- ^ PR Fire (www.prfire.co.uk)
- ^ Newswire Today (www.newswiretoday.com)
- ^ PR Sync (prsync.com)
- ^ TAKE THE QUIZ (publicize.co)
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