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OUR PICK OF THE BEST PRESS RELEASE SUBMISSION WEBSITES

By Rudi Davis

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 2019.

But if you’re still yet to actually write one, 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, a little bit of history (which you should read…it’s about SEO)

As I was writing the updated version of this page, I did what every good copywriter does and reviewed the other page-one search results on Google. To my surprise, a lot of the advice around backlinking for SEO was way, way out of date.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 2019.

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.

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

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. And our journalist email list database has loads of useful email addresses.
  • Publish a press release onto press release submission sites. This is what this guide focuses on.

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.

As the news industry has changed so much over the last decade or so, these 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.

Here’s a really good video from Newswire, 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).

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 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 2019 (which we think are the best)

NamePrices fromDescriptionKey Features
Newswire$199/mo or
$119 per press release
One of the
leading press
release
distribution
platforms,
offering
broadbased
newswise
distribution
and influencer marketing.
Can include
Google News,
Business
Journals
Network,
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 NewswireAround $1,000
per press
release
Claims to have
the largest press release
distribution
network of
media outlets,
websites and
social channels, but with such
large reach
inevitably
comes a high
price tag.
Access to 4,000 websites, 3,000 media outlets,
and 550 news
content systems. Embed
multimedia
content
including
videos, photos,
infographics
and audio clips. And campaign
analytics to
track success
Business WireAround $800
per release,
upwards
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
around
announcements.
Distribution
options cover
193 industry
and trade
categories, along with a global
reach available
in more than 20 languages. 
24-7 Press
Release
$19 to $389 per
release
Specialist press release
distribution
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
companies.
Multimedia can also be
embedded on
higher-level
packages. 
MarketWiredAround $460
per release
MarketWired
provides a
flexible news
distribution
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
relations,
helping them
meet regulatory filing and
disclosure
announcements. 
Globe NewswireData not
available

North American and European
focused press
release
distribution
service, focusing on media and
investment
outlets.
Allows a large
amount of
multimedia
content to be
embedded in
press releases aswell as media
monitoring and analytics.
£110 per
submission
UK focused
press release
distribution
service, but
provides an
international
reach.
Targeted
distribution and guaranteed
syndication,
plus search
engine indexing and analytics.
PR Underground$49.99 to $199
per release
Press release
distribution
platform
operating at the more affordableend of the market.
Releases are
sent to Google
News and 80
news sites
including
FOX/CBS/ABC/
NBC, as well as
being SEO
optimized.

Our list of free press release submission sites (fully updated for 2019)

Company NameService
Description
Key FeaturesMoz Domain
Authority  
Score
Online PR NewsProbably 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.
62
PR.comSimilar model to Online PR News,where the most basic package is free.The free
package
receives a
reduced
distribution on pr.com,
some third partyand news sites and RSS feeds.
75
PR FreeAnother
freemium press release
distribution
service, with themost basic
package being
free to use.
The free service allows
hyperlinks,
search engine
indexing and
social share
buttons.
62
PR LogIt’s a pretty
retro looking
site (by which I mean very
dated), but it’s
free press
release
distribution
service comes
highly rated
from many
reviewers.
The free service distributes pressreleases onsite, across search
engines, social media and RSS
feeds.
88
Press Release
Point
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.
60
PR FireAllows any user to create an
account and
publish a press
release with it’s free press
release
submission
service.
The free service is pretty limited, as it only
publishes the
press release on its own
platform, which is then indexed by Google.
44
Issue WireAnother
freemium
service, where
the basic
package is free, but with limited features.
Press releases
are indexed on Google, with up to four
hyperlinks
allowed, and all releases are
hosted
indefinitely.
40
Free Press
Release
The company
name is slightly misleading, as
only the basic
package is free, but this still
offers some
notable
features.
All press
releases are
indexed on
search engines, and unlike some other free
services they
remain
permanently
hosted on the
site.
70
Newswire TodayThe basic
package allows
free
submissions, but with very
limited features.
The basic
version only
publishes press releases onto
their site and
basic RSS feeds.
58
PR SyncThis service is
completely free, with the
platform relyingon its
community to
promote the
most relevant
stories to the
homepage.
This is a
community
platform, rather than a
distribution
service.
66