The death of press release distribution services: the expert’s view

The press release distribution service sits in an odd place within the world of communications. 

For a journalist, wires can highlight stories from abroad, or from niche industries that wouldn’t normally be on your radar but turn out to be interesting. However, getting the balance right is difficult. Signing up to receive email alerts opens the door to a flood of unrelated, badly-pitched releases. It’s a tough call.

For a PR, these wires are a reliable way to send out the releases that might appear dry, but your client insists on putting out – or need to be for financial reasons. You still need to write the story well, and tag properly, but it’s a quick and painless way to get the word out.

However – as Google alerts, social networks and online communities grow in strength and accuracy when sourcing stories and building relationships – what becomes of the wires? Do they become less important? Do they cease to exist?

Q&A: Adam Parker and Daryl Willcox demystify online press release distribution

Press release distribution is something that we are consistently asked about on our training courses and PR and social media related events. A growing number of commercial news distribution services and free services offer different ways to boost press release and related content visibility to media, through search and social media.

So how can you tell which press release distribution services count? What is a social media news release? What are the opportunities and potential pitfalls for businesses and agencies disseminating their news in this way?

I asked Adam Parker from RealWire and Daryl Willcox from DWP Publishing, MDs of two of the UK’s most successful news distribution services, to provide some clarity and explain how businesses should use news distribution as a successful part of their online communications and marketing strategy.