“Cool stuff, Eric.  Keep URLwire coming”  — Sam Meddis, USA Today Online
URLwire.com Site Announcement Service
Publicizing and attracting links for quality 
web content since 1994
A quote that describes the URLwire effect...
"We use mainstream wire services, and sometimes we get nice coverage, but we never saw improvement on trusted links obtained.  Then we used URLwire and within a month spotted multiple library based web guides had linked to us. The overall impact of that on our organic rankings was stunning. For the right kind of content, your approach and relationships are without peer"  — Green Industry site, name witheld and available by request

Author Note:
If you were hoping to find my press release service comparison page here, there are now hundreds of them across many subjects, and I maintain my list privately.  If you are in the process of trying to determine which press release distribution service is the most appropriate for your press release, I can help you select the most appropriate service.  Send email to whichservice@urlwire.com, and I'll reply.  There is no charge.

E-mail and Web Based Press Release Services: 
Which service is right for your news?
By Eric Ward, October 2002 (NO LONGER UPDATED HERE)
 
When you have company news to share, there are a number of services you can pay to help get your news to the "right people".

As a writer for Ad Age and ClickZ, and as the Publisher of URLwire, I receive unsolicited press releases every day, and am amazed at how clueless some so-called heavy hitter PR firms still are about sending email press releases.  Since I run a niche news service, I have a unique perspective as both sender and recipient of press releases. 

Of course, the "right people" I mentioned earlier can mean a lot of different things, and is the crux of the challenge.  For any given announcement, there is a specific set of "right people" for that announcement.  The service you choose to distribute your news may or may not be the best match for your announcement.

Back when the only choice was PR Newswire or Businesswire, things were easy.  But now, a  number of services exist that will send press releases via email on your behalf, like Internet Wire (formerly GINA), The Internet news Bureau (INB), eReleases, Xpress Press, as well as my own URLwire. These services are viable adjuncts or even alternatives to services like PR Newswire or BusinessWire.  As the industry grows, it becomes harder to know which service you should hire for which types of news. Using the wrong service to send your news isn't fatal, but results in little or no coverage, and irritated editor contacts. 

This brings us to the below table. I built this comparison tool to help PR pros and lay persons select the right service for their particular news distribution. 

As an example, my URLwire is only appropriate for announcing new Web site content.  That's all.  It would not be an appropriate service to announce that you hired a new CEO or secured 10M in second round financing.  Confused? Read on.


 
(This page is no longer updated. Last update: Oct. 2002)

The below Email press release services services are among the best known and most reputable. 
Each is best used for different purposes, as described.  If this isn't helpful, send me
email and I'll suggest the right service for you based on your news.

Service Name->
URLwire
http://www.urlwire.com
Email:EricWard@URLwire.com
Phone: 865.637.2438
InternetWire
http://www.internetwire.com/
Email:mshuler@gina.com 
Phone: 800.414.4462 
Internet News Bureau
http://www.newsbureau.com/
Emailinfo@newsbureau.com
Phone: 888.699.6939
XpressPress
http://www.xpresspress.com/
Email:news@xpresspress.com
Phone: 800.713.7701
Features
What single feature sets this service apart from the others? ./ The only service designed just for announcing Web launches to web site reviewers.  No other service is better for announcing a web launch ./ The widest distribution, and included in high profile venues like Yahoo News.  The absolute best pick if your news is financial in nature. ./ Is a part of Internet.com network of sites getting millions of page views a month.  Internet industry news is best delivered by this service. ./ Largest variety of topical subscribers and offers fax and phone services.
How releases 
are delivered:
Via Email and Web. NOT automated. Each subscriber is a professional site reviewer and has given an exact interest profile.

News is posted via 4 avenues for every distribution: 

1). Sent individually by name to site reviewers and editors who asked for it, via Email 

2). News story placed at Web site for news pointer services to use.

3), Web version indexed and distributed via syndication on Moreover, newshub, newsindex, and others.

4). Shorter version announced via topical listservs and/or newsgroups, only where appropriate and allowed

The same message is sent automated via Email.

The press release is also placed on Web in one of 12 news "Channels".

Content distributed on Internet Wire is published on hundreds of sites around the Web and syndicated online, real time, on Bloomberg, NewsReal, iSyndicate,  Screaming Media, Wavo, Stockpoint and COMTEX News Network. In addition, Internet Wire distributes a targeted, daily email feed of direct company news to media, analysts, business professionals and consumers worldwide every business day. The Company serves more than 2,500 clients around the globe, including more than 300 public relations firms. 

 

Same message sent automated via Email - Also placed on Web at INB site. All recipients have personally subscribed to the service. 

Has the added benefit of being part of the internet.com network of sites, thus they can drive traffic to the online version of  all announcements.

Varies. Sent mostly via e-mail to targeted editors/producers based on the beat they cover or show they produce. Faxing is used to supplement and fill in appropriate markets. Personal letter, phone also available. 

Looks to be the most versatile service of all, but if the news you are distributing is about a web site, then not the best value.

100% opt -in? subscribership? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Best Used For - Announcing a new Web launch.
- News that is about the content of a Web site.
- Announcing  Web-based resource sites. 

For temporary or time sensitive Web sites, this service is perfect. Ideal for campaigns where different releases need to be sent to different recipients based on publication, content, and lead time. Totally customized, non automated.

Not good for: 
Non web related news

News that is a match for any of the 12 news channels found here

Financial news for publicly traded companies, since news will be available on Yahoo Finance.

Not as good for: 
Web centric or Web content launch news.
 

Used to be just for Internet related news, but now accepts news that is outside the Internet industry as well. Often announces Web related news, but not specific Web sites as much as in the past. Good for sheer numbers. 

Not as good for: 
Reaching vertical industry specific editors, though improving. Same message sent to everyone, so not good if different subsets of the recipients need to get different news. 

 

Particularly effective with general computing and software news. Also coverage to a broad range of fields such as general business, and niche markets where you need to reach daily newspapers and the wire services. An e-mail alternative to PR Newswire or Business Wire. 

Not as good for: 
-New web site launch announcements
-Complex informational updates, lifestyle news.
- Markets not covered: MLM or business opportunities, adult sex based news, talk show or interview coverage, Christian and religious news, foreign language releases (but we DO have English international coverage.) 
 

Who it Reaches: People who review web sites for a living, like Sam Meddis at USA Today Hot Sites, Yahoo Picks of the Week, etc.  Web news outlets (Newslinx); online news syndicates (Moreover), news bots (Excite News Tracker), Web site reviews newsletter editors. Print publications with a focus on Web content and resources (ZD Yahoo Internet Life, WebBound, .net. Every major tech industry print, online and broadcast outlet, including all major national dailies. US and International recipients  Print, Online, Newspapers,  Mainstream print editors, radio and television producers, trade publication and the Internet community.
Details: Content of news is matched exactly to editor interest profiles in hundreds of different subject areas, so every campaign is a bit different. Recipients are the people who write about the Web, Web sites, Web news and Web products & events, in print, online, and on T.V. & Radio, all over the World.  One of the original Email news services,   Internet Wire is not focused on a particular industry, but does releases across many industries. INB offers 20 categories or topics
for which they have subscribing journalists.
Breaking regional or national news is distributed to appropriate wire services. Example recipients include USA Today, C/Net, Wall Street Journal, CNN Interactive, National Public Radio, MS/NBC, PC Magazine, Newsweek, NetUser Magazine -Europe, Washington Post, Sydney Morning Herald.
Number and Cost: 100-300, culled from a proprietary contact list of over 10,000 opt-in contacts built over 6 years online, and also doing a custom topic search for new editors at the time of the campaign. 

COST: Varies ~ $695 - $2000, most campaigns costing ~$895

Thousands of top technology editors, reporters and broadcast media. 

COST:~ $179 

 

Reaches over 10,000 editors, reporters and broadcast media. 

COST:~ $275

You can choose additional media lists for $80 each

800-4000

COST:~ $225, writing $250 (optional)

Also offers Software Wire ($150) - Established in 1998 as a corporate news portal for the software industry. 

Special Features: A custom search is done for each campaign for new contacts. 

The recipients vary based on the content of the release, thus no editor ever gets news that's outside their coverage areas. Editors are asked for a coverage profile that defines what they cover, and what they want to receive. Industry specific Web editor contacts are always included. Every announcement MUST HAVE a Web site associated with it as the purpose/destination (thus the name URLwire). Every release is sent one-at-a-time, by name, to a qualified recipient whose areas of coverage match exactly with the news being sent. Sender (Eric Ward) always includes a personal note to each and every editor, commenting on and evaluating the news from an industry perspective

Releases go out in 24 hours. Offers other services, including Technology News Tips, described as up-to-date leads on what technology media will be writing/reporting about. 

Also offers "Daily Debuts", a service which announces a set of 5 to 10 new Web sites every day.

Releases go out at next available opening. Offers other PR services, including press release writing, at a fee. All recipients have personally subscribed to the service. 

International Translation & Distribution available

Logo & Photo Placement 

A topic specific database search of over 400 subject/industries is conducted prior to each distribution. Experienced writing professionals will craft any story into a provocative release that gets editors interested. Requests for service are evaluated on a case by case basis with the highest criteria based on the content of a web site, application of a product or news worthiness of a business story. Same day turnaround. In public relations field since 1981, wired since 1991. Cooperate with advertising and PR firms.
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