There are dozens of free websites out there where you can send out press releases to media outlets. There are just as many sites that offer a paid service and promise better results. However, if this is your first event, or you are on a marketing budget, paying hundreds of dollars for a press release distribution probably isn’t at the top of your list. This article will focus on the most popular free press release distribution sites and how you can get the most from them.

Are Press Releases Effective?

Marketing experts give mixed reports about just how effective press releases are. As with any type of advertising, it is difficult to estimate exactly  how much mileage you get from a press release. Before even writing a release, ask yourself:

  • What is my goal with this release? For example, do you want local newspapers to run articles on the event?
  • Who will this release reach? Is it reaching my target audience?
  • Is there a better way to get the word out to that audience? (social media, contacting people directly)
  • How else can I use the release? (add to website, have available to send out when media requests it)

A good press release will help you meet a couple of important goals, including getting exposure on blogs, websites and in print papers.

Tips for Writing Online Press Releases

Online press releases have a similar format to paper releases. You need to include:

  • Name and contact info of your marketing person
  • Eye-catching headline
  • Cover who, what, where, when, and how of the event
  • Include quotes from your director or chair of the event

A couple of things become vital with an online release. First, you want to sell the event or your organization as something the average blogger wants to talk about. You may even want to include a line that says you are happy to provide interviews and more information to bloggers.

Every publication that picks up your release or repackages it in some way means more possible registrations for your event. Even the smallest of publications shouldn’t be overlooked when they request information.

Places to Post a Release

As mentioned above, there are both paid and free press release services. Places like PRWeb charge as little as $99 for a single release. Which level of their service you use depends on your advertising budget and how much of that budget you want to put into press releases. Places to post your release include:

In addition to posting your press release on free and paid wires, you should make it available on your website. Create a press release or news page. This will allow a journalist to go back and gather information and quotes.

Tweet that the release is up and share the link. Post on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites. The goal for a press release is to generate some buzz for your event, so think of ways to create that buzz. You may need to think outside the box is our ever-changing, quick information, highly digital world.

Related topic: What Are the Latest Trends with Events?