Paid & Free Press Release Submission Sites (for 2021) | Publicize

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 To our surprise, a lot of the advice around backlinking for SEO was way, way out of date.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[3] within the SEO industry is that press release submission sites are no longer an effective means of earning beneficial backlinks[4]. Long story short, a few years ago Google got fed up[5] 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[6] by default. This means no link equity[7] 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[8].

Here’s a blog post[9] we wrote about this subject, which explains the history and the current state of play in way more detail.

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[10] 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.

Here’s a really good video from Newswire[11], who are one of the industry leaders, explaining how their service works.

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.

Publicize also offers a press release submission service. See how we stack up against our competitors:[12]

publicize press release services infographic

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[13] 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)

NamePrices fromDescriptionKey Features
Newswire[14]$149 per domestic press release and $1,649 for per global press release[15]One of the
leading press
and influencer marketing.
Can include
Google News,
Reuters and AP outreach, as
well as the
ability to
include a range of multimedia
per release.
Analytics is also available to
track campaign success.
PR Newswire[16]Around $1,000
per press
Claims to have
the largest press release
network of
media outlets,
websites and
social channels, but with such
large reach
comes a high
price tag.
Access to 4,000 websites, 3,000 media outlets,
and 550 news
content systems. Embed
videos, photos,
and audio clips. And campaign
analytics to
track success
Business Wire[17]Around $800
per release,
Claims to offer
the largest
global coverage, reaching more
than 89,613
media outlets in 162 countries.
Aimed more
towards large
corporates who need to comply with regulatory requirements
options cover
193 industry
and trade
categories, along with a global
reach available
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
package just
posts a press
release to their website, while
the higher tiers distribute it
across AP, and
1000s of media
Multimedia can also be
embedded on
MarketWired[22]Around $460
per release
provides a
flexible news
platform that
can be tailored
for any client
and any type of outreach.
Outreach can be targeted at
global news
media, trade
media or speciality media. Also
tailored towards investor
helping them
meet regulatory filing and
Globe Newswire[23]Data not
North American and European
focused press
service, focusing on media and
Allows a large
amount of
content to be
embedded in
press releases aswell as media
monitoring and analytics.
Pressat[24]£110 per
UK focused
press release
service, but
provides an
distribution and guaranteed
plus search
engine indexing and analytics.
PR Underground[27]$49.99 to $199
per release[28][29]
Press release
operating at the more affordableend of the market.
Releases are
sent to Google
News and 80
news sites
NBC, as well as
being SEO
eReleases[30]$299 to $499 per press releasePress 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)

Company NameService
Key FeaturesMoz Domain
Online PR News[31]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
the platform.
56[32]Similar model to Online PR News,where the most basic package is free.The free
receives a
distribution on,
some third partyand news sites and RSS feeds.
PR Free[33]Another
freemium press release
service, with themost basic
package being
free to use.
The free service allows
search engine
indexing and
social share
PR Log[34]It’s a pretty
retro looking
site (by which I mean very
dated), but it’s
free press
service comes
highly rated
from many
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
free distributionservice.
The free service allows you to
distribute a
press release to 20 PR sites.
PR Fire[37]Allows any user to create an
account and
publish a press
release with it’s free press
The free service is pretty limited, as it only
publishes the
press release on its own
platform, which is then indexed by Google.
Newswire Today[38]The basic
package allows
submissions, but with very
limited features.
The basic
version only
publishes press releases onto
their site and
basic RSS feeds.
PR Sync[39]This service is
completely free, with the
platform relyingon its
community to
promote the
most relevant
stories to the
This is a
platform, rather than a


  1. ^ Ultimate Startup Press Release Guide (
  2. ^ press release template and examples (
  3. ^ general consensus (
  4. ^ earning beneficial backlinks (
  5. ^ fed up (
  6. ^ nofollow (
  7. ^ link equity (
  8. ^ PR and SEO (
  9. ^ blog post (
  10. ^ Ultimate Startup Press Release Guide (
  11. ^ video from Newswire (
  12. ^ press release submission service (
  13. ^ journalist email addresses (
  14. ^ Newswire (
  15. ^ $149 per domestic press release and $1,649 for per global press release (
  16. ^ PR Newswire (
  17. ^ Business Wire (
  18. ^ 24-7 Press (
  19. ^ Release (
  20. ^ $19 to $389 per (
  21. ^ release (
  22. ^ MarketWired (
  23. ^ Globe Newswire (
  24. ^ Pressat (
  25. ^ £110 per (
  26. ^ submission (
  27. ^ PR Underground (
  28. ^ $49.99 to $199 (
  29. ^ per release (
  30. ^ eReleases (
  31. ^ Online PR News (
  32. ^ (
  33. ^ PR Free (
  34. ^ PR Log (
  35. ^ Press Release (
  36. ^ Point (
  37. ^ PR Fire (
  38. ^ Newswire Today (
  39. ^ PR Sync (
  40. ^ TAKE THE QUIZ (

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