Ten Questions to Ask Your Press Release Service before You Send a Press Release

Are you looking to gain attention for your company or product, but are unsure of which press release service will best meet your needs? We’ll take you through the questions to ask so you are confident in your decision.

1 What web sites display my news and how do they receive it?

The strength of your service provider’s online network is a key determinate of your message’s visibility. Your provider will syndicate your content, delivering it to multiple websites simultaneously, helping you to share your news broadly to major media websites and outlets or to target your news by region, industry or language.

It’s important to find out:

  • The total size of the service’s online distribution network

  • The particular industry sites to which your content will be shared

  • Whether the service offers reporting, and the details it provides

PR Newswire has the world’s largest content distribution network, and can help your message reach websites—from major media to niche industries—around the globe.

2 What types of traditional and new media outlets do you reach?

Some low-cost wire services distribute only to web publications, but traditional media such as print, television, and radio are still widely consumed—and trusted. A recent study1 concluded that earned media—content created by credible third party-experts like journalists—is more credible than branded content.

The newswire’s own reputation and credibility can aid in pickup. PR Newswire was recently rated first in valuable news and information, trustworthiness, and ease of finding information by surveyed journalists2.

3 Does the provider help me target the journalists, bloggers and influencers that cover my industry?

Targeting your message to the media outlets and contacts most likely to find it relevant to their industry or sector beat is a smart tactic. Find out which industry-specific media points are also reached through the various distribution options.

Many—but not all—newswires build industry media into their distribution networks. PR Newswire has industry lists and list-building tools, which help you build media outreach lists for your message.

4 Can I distribute other types of content like photos and videos?

Audiences—and journalists—are looking for photos, videos and other visual content, and your press release service should be capable of providing these assets to as many of the third party websites that are syndicating your news as possible.

PR Newswire has the greatest “downstream” multimedia reach in its network, and we have several multimedia distribution options available— even a way to get your photo displayed in Times Square!*

5 Does the provider help me reach my target audiences in social media?

Journalists employ social media not just for breaking news, but also as a source of inspiration for story ideas, while other audiences find social media a convenient way to engage with topics and trends. Confirm that press releases on the provider’s website have social sharing tools built into each page. Additionally, make sure they are engaged on industry-specific social media.

One of the ways PR Newswire targets influencers is through SocialPost, which distributes news to thousands of followers via curated, industry-specific Twitter feeds.

6 What type of customer service can I expect to receive?

A critical announcement may need to be made at an unexpected time and you want your service to be just as on the ball as you are. Is your provider available when you need them?

Additionally, the degree to which press releases are edited varies by provider. Some provide no editing, some just run spell check, and others do full proofreading and may even provide tips to ensure the best visibility for your message.

PR Newswire’s customer service is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and editors are trained to identify the smallest errors that can make or break a press release. Our personalized service gives customers direct access to the team handling their release, via email, phone or chat.

7 How does the provider help improve my search visibility?

Distribution to online sites will support your visibility goals, as will your content. Search engines heavily weigh the quality of editorial content in their algorithms to better serve the needs of consumers and journalists. Therefore, the standards that your newswire follows are a crucial factor in the visibility of your content.

In addition to our content distribution network, PR Newswire also has copy quality guidelines, e.g., offer insightful and original content, don’t overuse of keywords or links, and avoid the repeated use of templated copy except for the company boilerplate.

8 How do you measure media activity, and what type of reporting will I receive?

If you’re interested in media coverage and other benchmark data for your message, reporting will provide details on activity generated from your release. For example, PR Newswire’s Visibility Reports track media views by outlet type, industry, job function, and location.

9 How do you measure online distribution and what type of reporting will I receive?

Press release vendors often provide comprehensive reporting that can help you pinpoint the successful—and not so successful—components of your distribution strategy. Depending on your organization’s KPIs, you’ll want to inquire about what data will be provided after your release goes out. Our Visibility Reports compile audience engagement metrics such as likes, shares and click-through rates, and social media influencers who can direct your content to additional audiences.

10 How can I reach multicultural and international audiences with my message?

The U.S. has many multicultural audiences—and then there’s the rest of the world to consider. The brands that make the extra effort to genuinely connect with multicultural and international audiences, in their native languages, will greatly differentiate themselves from competitors.

Make sure that your content distribution service can provide:

  • Appropriate targeting to local markets

  • Translation services for your release

  • A dedicated team solely focused on global distribution

PR Newswire’s network includes more than 49,000 international distribution points and over 10,000 U.S. news outlets in multicultural niche markets. Our translation services are available in more than 40 languages.

The answers to these ten questions will give you a sense of whether your release distribution provider can help you reach your target audiences—media, consumers, professionals and investors— regions and industries, is there to help you when you need it and then provide a picture of how your communication performed.


For more than 60 years, PR Newswire has helped PR, corporate and marketing communications, and investor relations professionals achieve their communications goals – from building awareness with new audiences and gaining media pickup, to managing reputation and inspiring investor confidence – by sharing, targeting, tracking and enhancing their messages to make the most of their communications campaigns and content investments.

* Display on the Thomson Reuters sign in Times Square is provided through a partnership with Times Square2.

1. * “The Role of Content in the Consumer Decision Making Process,” sponsored by In Powered and conducted by Nielsen.

2. 2013 Survey of PR Newswire for Journalists community