Media outlets such as magazines and cable TV are becoming much more niche-oriented. Jane H. Bick discovers that press release distributors are, too.
Media outlets such as magazines and cable TV are becoming much more
niche-oriented. Jane H. Bick discovers that press release distributors
The choices for press release distribution used to be simple. Interns
stuffed envelopes for mass mailings to reporters, or companies paid PR
Newswire or Business Wire to send releases directly into the nation’s
newsrooms, where they were printed out alongside AP or UPI releases.
But - as evidenced by a plethora of new ’newswires’ - mass distribution
is beginning to be challenged by the niche variety. These new businesses
segment the media by industry, geography or news hook. Given the time we
live in, most of them are based on the Internet. Nearly all claim
reporter subscribers who ’ask’ for the releases according to newsbeat,
often by filling out a form on the web site to become a free member.
Not surprisingly, technology services such as URLwire, Internet Wire,
Internet News Bureau, e-releases, Xpress Press and Software Wire (a
division of Xpress Press) have led the way. While some like Internet
Wire boast mass online distribution to media and consumers, others are
filling a niche within a niche.
For example, URLwire promotes only high-end web launches, re-launches,
events and industry happenings to online news editors and reporters.
With more than 3,000 subscribing journalists in 30 countries, founder
Eric Ward refuses subscriptions to those ’who do not write about, link
to or review web sites.’
Site launches Ward has handled include Amazon.
com, Virtual Vineyards, AOL, The New York Times and Microsoft. He says
he turns down 95% of possible companies whose web sites aren’t good
enough for media coverage. Ward charges anywhere from dollars 395 to
dollars 2,000 for release distribution.
Half the battle in working with these new services is knowing what’s out
there. Many online services offer multimedia, such as audio and video
clips. But the Internet brings new rules - make sure the service has the
permission of individual journalists to e-mail press releases to them.
E-releases, which charges dollars 249 to reach subscribing reporters
from its master list of more than 10,000 journalists, warns clients not
to ’spam editors.’
Internet Wire bills a flat dollars 225 for releases of unlimited length.
Co-founder Michael Shuler says Internet Wire clients represent the top
tier of industry (Intuit, Intel) and PR firms (Morningstar, Porter
Internet News Bureau sends releases to more than 1,400 tech writers on
an ’A’ list for dollars 225 per release. Another dollars 80 buys
non-tech media module subscribers, or clients can pay dollars 125 for a
module without the ’A’ list.
Noting that travel is the third-largest category on the Internet (after
pornography and computer peripherals), Pat Pharris says he introduced
tour&travel.com to give travel reporters and travel agents everything in
one place. ’Tour&travel.com is unique,’ says Pharris, ’because reporters
can cut and paste - including high resolution photos - from competing
client companies’ releases to make their stories.Broadcasters can pull
air quality audio and video right onto their newscasts.’
Pharris anticipates rolling out the same service to another 10 industry
sectors within the next 12 months. He’s currently willing to reveal only
one - holidayshoppingnews.com will operate only in November and December
each year for reporters who cover holiday gift-giving.
Direct Contact Marketing specializes in the book publishing industry and
charges 25 cents per page faxed - with a dollars 25 minimum - and writes
releases for dollars 200 per page. Its clients include the authors of
the Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Greg Stebben, author of White
With 6,000 subscribers (mostly newspaper), Article Resource Association
offers press release volume discounts to clients including 3M, Best Buy
and Merrill Lynch. Government, political and public affairs pros
distribute press releases and statements through U.S. Newswire, which
charges in units of 400 words plus 100 words for national, regional,
state and city circuits. Membership costs dollars 95.
’Although we serve the same mass media points as other mass distributors
with text, video, audio and photos on the Internet, our focus is public
policy,’ says Brian Taylor, U.S. Newswire’s director of marketing. In
response to college media editors who want public policy stories, U.S.
Newswire recently teamed with Collegiate Presswire to provide U.S.
Newswire’s press releases at no additional cost to student editors.
For those who don’t already subscribe to U.S. Newswire and want access
to the 18 to 21 age bracket, Collegiate Presswire’s fees begin with a
dollars 100 membership and range from dollars 125 to dollars 500 per
release based on student newspaper circulation tiers. Co-founder Matt
Farlie says his company also monitors the issues that student media
cover so clients like AT&T, the Peace Corps, Comedy Central and others
can ’plug into the young population.’ The media editor lists are updated
While there are too many media distribution services to list, as the
Internet grows exponentially, using several companies with different
media resources may offer public relations professionals the best of all
worlds. (Don’t forget the main wire services, which also offer niche
lists.) Or, in Internet News Bureau Renee Manius’ words, ’Given the
choices, why wouldn’t you use more than one service?’
Article Resource Association
Direct Contact Marketing
Internet News Bureau
888-699-6939 (within US)
541-617-5380 (outside US)
Marina del Rey, CA
800-713-7701 (within US)
954-989-3338 (outside US)
800-713-7701 (within US)
954-989-3338 (outside US)