The answer is simple: to be complete. To offer customers a full service, the complete circle – to empower them to accurately monitor press release distribution echoes across various channels of the web, and to deliver compelling distribution reports: with clippings, social media response, sentiment, and more.
There are some such services available on a “pay-per-distribution” basis, but they are simply not worth paying for in many situations. I will explain.
There are also PR SaaS solutions that offer email press release distribution, analytics and media monitoring under one roof. These have some limitations, however, and may generate a low media response, for a number of reasons, independent from the service.
SaaS PR – A Costly Proposition
The problem with SaaS PR services is that they are difficult to learn, time consuming to use, and in many cases require a lot of financial resource to run. Aside the premium paid to be able to use such services, you’ll need an account manager to actually run them – because nothing is 100% automatic in life. Tools like these are far from being perfect, but they are necessary. This is why:
A press release featuring newsworthy information will be picked up even from a bulk email campaign. Sure, the journalists will not be very thrilled about getting the same information like the rest of the world. But do you think that companies like Apple, Dell, Procter and Gamble, etc, care about such “minor details?” No they don’t. Journalist sensibilities don’t matter for them. Their PR machine doesn’t need to worry about personalization. Whatever these companies decide to release, they will get media coverage.
It’s also a matter of numbers. SaaS PR services have a rich database of journalists who opted to receive news from their customers. So if you think you’ve got news to share, then the possibility to score significant editorial coverage using such services is worth the investment. Being able to monitor the coverage and the media response adds to the value. If your agency sends out hundreds of releases per year (for various customers), then SaaS PR platforms become a very affordable proposition. But for boutique, DIY and small size agencies, who only send about 10-20 releases per year, the more affordable alternative could be the press release distribution service.
Not All Press Release Distribution Services Are Created Equal
There are a number of benefits that can be derived from using a press release distribution service, and they include SEO, distribution through major news search engines like Google News and Yahoo!News; distribution through the Associated Press; and even distribution to a great number of journalists and bloggers who opted to receive news from such services. In addition, press release distribution is industry targeted, and more often than not, geo-targeted as well.
Unfortunately, not all services offer the media monitoring tools you need, and the ones that do are a bit on the expensive side. When media monitoring is not important for you, the best services to use are PRWeb and PR.com. Services that offer media monitoring include PRNewswire, MarketWire and Business Wire, but they make damn sure that you have a daunting task getting pricing information – and if your budget for a release is modest, you are in for a big surprise.
The thing about press release distribution services is that you don’t always get what you pay for, but this doesn’t have to be the fault of the service.
Writing a press release that generates media coverage is an art. You have to put on your thinking cap to find a hook. You need the right bait as well, which is always the value of the release. Basically, it is not enough to have newsworthy facts, you also need a good story. If you fail writing your story, it doesn’t matter which channel you choose for distribution, the results will never be what you were hoping for. If your press release body is not good enough, monitoring the media is pointless as well. You’ll never make enough noise to matter.