Budget-Friendly ServicesEven by paying $20-50 per their press release, you can be re-published on many smaller industry news sites, boost your website visibility through backlinks, improve your SEO, make it to the Google News, RSS, and even be noticed by the local news channels. While you can't reach the top journalists and major media outlets at the entry level of these budget-friendly press release distribution services, they offer upgrades if you are serious about such reach. You would still pay under $200 with some, less than the leading press release distribution services.
I had a tough experience with PR.com... They claim to offer free press release publishing (without distribution) and I was ok with that, having distributed my press release elsewhere. Yet, after putting it on a 2-day "editorial hold", they demanded a $60 upgrade "for the nature of the content". First I thought it was because I added a photo so I removed it. Another hold, another request for an upgrade. I asked to clarify what options that I chose necessitated such an upgrade. The answer was a copy/paste of the same vague comment. I asked if they can be more specific, they just went silent, my PR is stuck unpublished. UPDATE: Two weeks later, no reply from PR.com. As such, I do not recommend the service, especially if time is of the essence.
"You get what you pay for" applies as usual but some of these budget-friendly press release distribution services offer more for free than the others. PR Log appeared the most generous among the totally free options.
Paid ServiceI singled out EIN PressWire as a paid-only press release distribution service because first, it allows you to do your first press release for free (otherwise $99), and second, you can buy the PRs in bulk at just around $33 a piece! (If you sign up through my link, the price can go as low as $28.50 or $16.65.) The service aims at ABC, Al Jazeera, Discovery, CBS, AccessHollywood, Bloomberg, CNN, etc. The disclaimer is that it's up to individual publishers to choose whether to publish your release. Seemed to be the most cost-effective option in my modest research.
Final ThoughtsI used each of these budget-friendly press release distribution services, publishing either for free, or at one of the lowest tiers. The table below is a quick summary of my findings. It's not meant to be thorough but to offer a top-level comparison of the key features, including my bias for photography industry. :) For each service, I compare its free and paid offerings, separated by "/". The table is linked to my Google Sheet and will auto-update if I edit the source.
If you use a similarly great budget-friendly press release distribution service, feel free to suggest it in the comments!
No matter how responsive the design is, viewing any extensive table on a mobile is challenging. A desktop/laptop/tablet is recommended. As a last resort, save the table as PDF to your phone (use “Export” button below), then navigate/zoom it in your PDF viewer.
|Features||PR Log||OpenPR||PR.com||IssueWire||PRFree||1888PressRelease||EIN Presswire|
|Price||free / $29||free (1/mo) / add'l $19 (or $6 in 10 bundle)||free / $60||free / $21||free / $19||free / $15||$99 (or $33 in 12 bundle)|
|Ads||Y / N||N||N||Y||Y / N||Y / N||N|
|Image||N / 1||Y||N / Y||5||N / 1||N/ / 1||1 (3)|
|Links||2 (plain / cickable)||Text only but clickable||Text only, clickable for $30||Y||Text in body / clickable in contact (clickable in body $39+)||Text in body / clickable in contact||3|
|Spam Protection||Y||N||Y||N (says Y)||Y||Y|
|Categories||Y||N||Y||N||N / Y||Y||Y|
|Industries||Y||Y||1 / 10||Y||Y||N ($150+)||Y|
|Tags||1 / 3||N||N||Y||Y||N ($150+)||N|
|Location Targeting||Y||N||N / 2||Y||N||Y||Y (country)|
|Scheduling||Y||Y||N / $100||Y||N||N ($150+)||Y|
|Approval||N||Y (long)||Y (very long)||Y||N||Y||Y|
|Search Engines||Y||Y||Y||N / Y||Y||Y||Y|
|News (Auto)||N ($49+)||Y||Limited / Y||N / Y||N||N ($25+)||Y, prominent|
|Media Repints (Auto)||N ($99+)||Y||Y||N / Y||N ($39+)||N ($50+)||Y, many|
|Journalists||Y||N / Y||N||N||N||Y|
|Social||N (links)||N||N / Y||Y||N ($39+)||N ($50+)||Y|
|N / Y||N||N / Y||N / Y||N||N||Y|
|Stats||Y||N||N ($100+)||N / Y||N||N ($150+)||Non-numeric but detailed|
|G2 Rating||4.6 (14)||-||3.9 (12)||3.4 (11)||-||-||-|
|Notes||Prominent on Google, formatting options, video included||Germany-based, writing service, $10 correction/deletion, about the company||PR's editorial feedback, files. Asked to verify the info (attending an event). Required upgrade to paid "due to nature", unclear why. Pushes to AssociatedPress. $100 next day, $300 same day.||Asks not to duplicate with other sites, Google Maps, video embed, good reach but South Asian sites mostly. India-based, resulted in a few spams from South Asia. High search results.||Ad blocker issues, image rectangular||Outdated site design, can edit after submission, add a quote, very pushy for upgrades||Embedded webpage (iframe), very broad reach, appeared on FB's ZoomInfo page in news|