I've never sent a press release before, but I'm going to experiment with one to announce my newsletter Shopifreaks to the world. While I don't necessarily think that reporters will pick up the story and feature my newsletter in their publications (although I'd be thrilled if they did), my primary intention is to leverage a press release to show up in people's Google Alerts for the keyword “Shopify” and bring attention to my newsletter to the type of people (like journalists and community managers) who it would be of interest to.
I subscribe to a variety of sources to curate my newsletter — one being Google Alert notifications for “Shopify” — and through those alerts I'm regularly made aware of announcements from private companies (for new features, seed rounds, etc) that I otherwise would not have been aware of. So for that same purpose, I'd like to announce my Shopifreaks newsletter via a press release and attempt to land on folks radars who follow Shopify as well.
I had no clue about how to write or distribute a press release, so I gave myself a crash course. Two particular tutorials were helpful:
Prowly also had an informative resource about How to Choose the Best Press Release Distribution Service.
They categorize services in two ways:
- Automated press release distribution services (aka: “wires”)
- Manual press release distribution services (aka: direct PR outreach)
After reading that guide, I was leaning towards #1. Since my end goal is to show up in Google Alert notifications, and not actually connect with real journalists to write a story, I felt like that made more sense. I live chatted with Patryk from Prowly who agreed, given my particular agenda. I appreciate their transparency on the issue and would definitely consider them in the future for actual outreach, as their UI and tools look great.
So now I need to decide which PR distribution service to choose. I'm willing to spend up to $100 for this experiment. I've narrowed it down to the following choices:
- Starter Plan – $49.99/release (non-recurring)
- Sent To Google News
- Published on 80 news & FOX/CBS/NBC websites
- Social Media Distribution
- Published on DigitalJournal.com
- Multiple Newsrooms
- SEO Optimized Release
- Pay Per Release
I like that they publish it on DigitalJournal.com which has a DA89. Between that and the rest of their syndication network, I should definitely hit Google Alerts.
- £50 + VAT
- Distributed to thousands of journalists, bloggers and
- Published on the PR Fire and submitted to Bing & Yahoo News.
- Featured on the PR Fire Twitter and Facebook feeds, giving you cross-channel exposure.
- Submitted to Google News. (Note that inclusion of your submission is at the sole discretion of Google.)
The price is right, but on further reflection, this seems like a service more comparable to Prowly in that it tries to connect you with the right journalists for your story. I'm going to mark this one off the list.
- $99 for Web Distribution
- 25+ guaranteed syndication
- Google Inclusion
- Yahoo Inclusion (but not Yahoo News guaranteed)
- Bing Inclusion
- Google News Inclusion
The list goes on, but it kind of feels like they're taking one feature bullet item and turning it into 60 bullet items. Just say “Search Engine Inclusion”. Since they are a little ambiguous about what their “25+ guaranteed inclusion” indicates, I'm going to lean towards PR Underground.
WINNER: PR Underground
I'm going to write my first press release now and will update this post in the future with my results.