Pressing matters: the Press Release Submission Guide

Are you experiencing challenges in increasing your business's online visibility? Would you like to enhance your website traffic and elevate your search engine rankings? If the answer is yes, then it is crucial to contemplate press release distribution. In this comprehensive guide, we will explain everything about press release submission, encompassing its definition, significance, implementation, and the best places to submit your press releases for optimal outcomes, the difference between press release submission sites and PR outreach, lastly, providing a complete list of paid and free to use submission sites.

May 8, 2023

What is online press distribution, and why is it important?

Online press distributionis sending a press release to media outlets and other business-related channels via an online medium.

Press releases are a powerful medium for communicating your message to a wider audience and raising brand awareness. It is a tool you can’t be without. You can use it to generate publicity and gain exposure to the orgnization.

You can reach a greater audience, attract new customers, and gain investment.

Press releases can work to improve your SERPs (search engine results pages). It can do this through backlinks to your website. When you submit a release to a distributor, it will appear on multipl ewebsites matching your genre and market, which, in turn, gets media attention, drives site traffic, and boosts SEO.

What is a press release, and what is a press release submission?

Press releases are written public announcements sent to the media to generate media interest in a company or organization.

An announcement of new products, company milestones, industry awards, upcoming events, and other relevant news can be included in a press release.

A press release submission involves sending your news release to distribution channels for them to release to reach as many people as possible. These platforms are valuable news sources for journalists and reporters looking for stories. And your new could be picked up.

Learn more about what is a press release

The difference between press release submission sites and true PR outreach

As we have seen, there are two main ways of sending out a press release for coverage. One is to directly send it to a journalist. The other is to submit via an online press release distributor. With submission platforms, a lot of the work is done for you. You have a ready-made list at your fingertips without having to draw one up for yourself. There are an array of distributors (free and paid) who can take care of releasing your news for you. Many of these are syndicated, meaning blogs, portals, news sites, magazines, and other informational websites pull them—an excellent way to increase your visibility.

However, these platforms have some drawbacks compared to pitching directly to journalists.. With a press release distributor, there is no direct access to journalists, so you can't build relationships with them. You'll be more likely to get high-quality media coverage if you send a carefully crafted email pitch to a solid media contact list. Directly pitching a press release to a journalist can improve media coverage. We mean articles about your brand in the broader context, not just word-for-word press releases.

How to submit a press release

While press release distribution sites do some of the work for you, to submit a well-written, targeted, and effective press release, there are still some steps that you need to follow. We take a look here.


Create a compelling press release

It should come as no surprise that you first need a fantastic press release that communicates your news, is attention-grabbing, and makes the reader want to stay. You must jump to the point in your press release's subject line. Why should people care? Be concise and clear. A good press release will grab people's attention and make them want to learn more.

Include relevant quotes, statistics, and supporting information in a press release in the body copy.

Press releases are sent hundreds of times daily, and journalists and reporters only have a short time to read them.

Learn more about how to write a press release

Establish a list of media outlets

You can choose from numerous free and paid distribution and tracking options regarding press release submission sites.

You should build a list of outlets that match your goals and target your desired audience.

Your outreach efforts will be significantly enhanced if you have a list of targeted contacts when submitting a press release. Build a list of publications from which you wish to submit press releases. This could increase the chances of your news being published. It can also save you time. Journalists and reporters frequently change jobs, move to different publications, or switch beats, so updating your contact list is essential. Failing to do so can result in wasted outreach efforts and missed opportunities.


Establish a list of media outlets

The content and website quality determine the ranking of websites by search engines such as Google based on relevance and quality.

Add appropriate keywords and phrases to your press release to enhance your search engine rankings.

Incorporating relevant keywords and phrases in your press release is crucial in increasing its exposure in search results.

Creating SEO-friendly press releases can be advantageous in providing more visibility to your brand. Optimizing your press release for search engines will make it more likely to be displayed when individuals search for related topics. By appearing in search results, your press release can assist in establishing your brand as a thought leader in your industry, making it relevant and reliable to your audience.


Follow the submission guidelines

Submit your press release according to the guidelines provided by the media outlet you are submitting to. Following submission guidelines indicates that you're a professional, serious about your outreach efforts, and willing to work to meet the media outlet's requirements. It's also a surefire way to avoid rejection at the first huddle. Releases that do not follow guidelines will be discarded without a glance.


Follow up

The job isn't over. You now need to do some gentle prodding of journalists. Don't appear too pushy when following up with a media outlet, and allow them time to reply to your follow-up email before being aggressive. You can make the difference between getting published or not in the days following your first submission if you send them a polite email or call asking if they've had a chance to review it.


Track and analyze results

You need to track your submitted results to see your outreach's effectiveness. You can learn what pitch is connecting with journalists, which outlets are distributing your press release the most, and what aspects you should emphasize.

Analysis of metrics such as pickups, social shares, and backlinks generated by your press release can help you determine whether your outreach efforts resonate with your target audience.

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Tips for a successful press release submission

Here are some extra tips to help you get the most out of your press release submission.

1. Do your research

You need to know the most relevant journalists for you and, above all, who have a vested interest in your news. You would be surprised how many reporters we know to receive generic press release templates that could be for anyone. You need to get this right to save everyone's time and give yourself a good reputation.

2. Foster great media connections

Relationships require work, and none more so than media relations. It is crucial to gain the trust of journalists. You must gain journalists' trust. There are a few things you can do to help with this.

Send only relevant and newsworthy content, value their time, and send information when convenient.

Be ready to answer their questions. They shouldn't need to come back to you for anything after this.

3. Focus on timing

Thursday is the best day to send a press release. The best time would be between 10 am - 2 pm.

You will have less luck getting an editor's attention on a Friday. Ditto for anything after 2 pm. There may be occasional variations to this, and ultimately the nature of your industry can dictate press release timings. Know this to get the most out of your submission. Timing is critical.

Best time pitch press realese

4. Stand out with multimedia content

Increase the chances of submitting a successful press release by including multimedia content. Adding images, videos, or infographics helps convey your message and capture the attention of journalists and others who may pick up on your story. It could also differentiate you from that of your competition.

Also, journalists and bloggers can use multimedia content to create their articles by quickly incorporating images and videos into their writing, making it more interesting for their readers.

Top 20 free press release submission websites

When it comes to free press release distribution sites, you get what you pay for, as the adage says. There are often heavy restrictions, be it in the number of releases you can send, where it goes, and what can be included. Many operate as feed pages, and the chances of someone picking up on it are small. That said, free is free, and with a minimal amount of effort, you may see results.


PR Leap

Even though PR Leap does not offer the same features as others on this list, it's a good option if you are looking for a simple, no-frills service. It automatically formats articles for social media and devices with the press release template. Press releases can be targeted to a specific geographic location in the U.S. Businesses can create a brand page and online newsroom, depending on the plan selected. Up to five images or videos and five keyword tags can be included in press releases for free. PRLeap does not offer phone or live chat support.



While IssueWire has a variety of paid plans, users can send out one free press release using their service. The platform provides users with video embedding, detailed press release statistics, an SEO audit, and mobile distribution. Sadly, this package does not include Google, Google News, Yahoo, Bing, and Apple News. There are several things to remember when using the free plan: indexing press releases in search engines, targeting specific audiences are not included, and placements are not guaranteed.



OpenPR is a budget-friendly distribution and press release writing service for small businesses. A German-based press release distribution service, openPR offers a standard range of services, including writing services, backlink additions, and free banner ads. The platform offers free and paid packages, although businesses can only submit a free press release per month. Although many will find this and the standard features ample, it lacks more robust tools, such as advanced targeting and same-day distribution, which other competitors offer.


PR Free

PR Free distributes press releases for free to major search engines and news sites. The free plan includes live URL links, search engine distribution, and in-page sharing buttons. The free version of PRFree features a simple, user-friendly dashboard and an online press room. Although the free plan does not include a company website link or embedded images, it does offer a media contact database, specialty circuits, and distribution reports. Customer support is only available online.


PR Fire might be the site for you if you're looking for free press release distribution in the UK. The site allows you to write and upload a press release which, in turn, gets monitored by their team to ensure quality before being distributed. If you are concerned only with UK distribution and want to expand without costing you, this could be your answer.

Here, there are four packages available: Free, Premier, Customized, or Advanced. The difference comes in how much exposure your press release will get and how much third-party advertising you will need to display. In a free press release, adverts and a list of related releases will be at the bottom. Effectively, you may serve as a communication tool for other businesses.


Online PR News

Online PR News is a free distribution site that offers basic distribution to major search engines and news sites. You may submit one press release daily using the free press release service. The releases cover all the necessary details and allow you to include a live URL in the media contact area. Customer support is a strong point of this company, and the blogs and guidelines can be useful sources of information for those who need a few tips.


PR Zoom

PR Zoom offers free press releases, but unfortunately, the paid-for releases on their site get preferential treatment. PR Zoom offers free ad-supported press releases, so any affiliates of PR Zoom will have an advertisement on your release. You can't upload your logo or article to these free press releases, so it can confuse people. You'll need to be a big enough entity to use a corporate email address to register, or you cannot use the free service. Overall, the site is good for those who want immediate visibility.



As seen, the distribution of press releases can be costly, but the site offers a free if not basic, service that can help get your message across. There is a "how to write a press release" section for customers unsure where to start when drafting a press release. PressBox provides a free but basic service when writing a press release. More than 700 media professionals subscribe to receive press releases on specific topics, and they also produce a media list for each assignment, but distribution numbers are small.


Another free service. 1888 Pressrelease’s free service does not distribute to websites, blogs, news networks, or social platforms. Only their website. With no phone or email support, you will need to know what you’re doing and get it right the first time, as you cannot retract it after. The only other service options under the free plan are SEO services, which cost an additional $50.00.



Press Release Point is another press release distribution service with a free option. Paid users can get great value for money at $5 a press release, but distribution is to a relatively narrow audience of about 40 media outlets. The free plan is limited to one release every three months, so beneficial only for very small businesses. Almost all other features are chargeable also.



With this site, it is possible to edit a submission and remove and delete a previously submitted press release. It is also possible to remove and delete a previously submitted press release. A useful tip section for novices gives advice on keywords and general press release no-nos. Your release will appear on their page only.


Market Press Release

It is worth noting that Market Press Release is another free, if not restricted, site. However, you are still allowed to publish one press release per day, which is quite a lot compared to some other services and could offer a boost to your promotional and SEO activities. The press release categories are endless on this page and leaves no industry untouched.

This is for travel and leisure-related businesses. They will send your news to Google and attach it to RSS feeds and social media for free. The releases are never deleted, unlike a lot of other free providers. Your press release will stay your press release, no third-party ads will appear on it.


NewsWire Today

The free service is limited to only non-profits. While NewsWireToday does not offer instant approval, they claim "same day" approval and that they guarantee your listing. They charge between $199 and $399 per press release if you do pay. For the "free basic submission" service, there may be a longer wait.



There are no limits to how much text, pictures, and web links can be included in a press release. Including free ones! This is quite a rarity. Press releases are distributed free of charge to EPR sites and search engines by the company. The EPR network is one of the largest press release distribution networks.



ClickPress is a free press site, but this is only for charitable organizations and "corporate social responsibility news." The good news is that any number can be released as it is unlimited. Great if you want to do some good in the world. Other press release distribution is subject to fees, however.

Offering both free and paid options, the free option provides a one-a-day allowance (quite impressive compared to others). Several standard features, such as writing press releases, a reporting function, and the option for revisions, are unavailable. Your press release will still get syndicated to a broad selection of industry-categorized RSS feeds and media networks. All users benefit from no joining fee.


Express Press Release

Express Press Release is a free press release distribution website that offers the distribution of your release to the media via its network and on the site itself. You’ll be on your own when you write the release, though, as they offer no writing services. For that, you’ll need to upgrade. Again, distribution is not definite; if it is, no time for doing so can be guaranteed. Be sure to read their sending criteria and guidelines. There are strict requirements.


PR Sync

You can post your press release with PR Sync, a free website that distributes press releases. They specialize in healthcare, consumer goods, entertainment and media, and financial services but can assist in other areas too. Registration is easy and, of course, totally free. However, one thing to note with this company is that they can edit your press release before they send it. They also don’t guarantee they will send it to third parties, as this is at their discretion.

Why you should consider manual PR outreach

Press release submission sites may seem like an easy solution to getting your press release in front of a large audience, but they are not a substitute for proper PR outreach for startups. It is important to understand that these services lack the personal touch and relationship-building necessary for successful PR, even though they can quickly get your news out there.

You shouldn't use press release submission sites as your sole news-sharing method.

Regarding PR outreach, you must go beyond automated distribution to stand out and get noticed. You will need to reach out to journalists. To generate positive media coverage, manual outreach is generally more effective. It allows you to build key relationships with key journalists and outlets relevant to your industry, invaluable for future media coverage for your business.. Instead, invest the time and effort to establish true PR with the parties you need to secure coverage. With PRLab, we will write, send and promote press releases for you and distribute them to the sites most applicable to your aims.

May 8, 2023
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