How Much Should You Spend?
When it comes time to distribute your release online, most distribution services give you several contribution options, from free to several hundred dollars. Generally, the more you pay, the more coverage, but trying to determine which contribution level delivers the greatest value is tricky until you have some history.
During the launch of Savvy's network of shopping guides, we had the opportunity to measure the difference between PRWeb's $40 level and the $200 level. Of course, the number of pickups will be different for each industry/company.
(PRWeb defines a pickup as an estimate of the number of times a press release was picked up by a media outlet. This does not tell how many times a story appears in the media. It simply attempts to estimate media interest in the release.)
Each release we tested had a similar message, but the cost and number of pickups varied considerably between levels. Here's the breakdown.
$40 Contribution Level
Average number of media pickups: 515
Cost per pickup: .08
$200 Contribution Level
Average number of media pickups: 1,205
Cost per pickup: .17
Really, we feel that both these options are an excellent use of a marketer's budget. Where else can you get this kind of return on investment?
For a company that is on a tight budget, it would seem smarter to send more releases at the $40 level where each pickup costs around 8 cents, than to blow through a small PR budget sending $200 releases, where it costs 17 cents for each pickup.
However, at the $200 level you get some extra options that have value beyond media coverage. These extras include the ability to upload news images, record a podcast and embed links. And perhaps you have a difference in quality, although we were not able to measure it.
Upload News Images
The first $200 contribution level extra that you receive through PRWeb is the ability to upload news images. If Google elects to use the image, it will increase your visibility in news search results, leading to more traffic, more buzz and likely more coverage.
Google doesn't always use the image however, especially if it is not relevant to searchers.
Podcast Interview Request
PRWeb's Podcast service brings PRWeb news releases to life through podcasts. The service is simple to use. PRWeb staff members with your company's spokesperson/executive and discuss your news in a brief five- to seven-minute telephone interview.
The PRWeb team then creates a recording through an in-house production process that makes the PRWeb user the centerpiece of the podcast. Once production is complete, PRWeb works to promote the podcast episodes on PRWeb Podcast and elsewhere on the Internet giving you valuable audio exposure and putting your company on the cutting edge of new media usage.
At the $200 contribution level you also have the option of using HyperText links, which I've always called embedded links. When used with keyword rich anchor text, embedded links will boost ranking for your keyword phrases.
Which is Best?
In general, we recommend using the $200 level in cases where:
> An associated image strengthens the message of the release and is likely to be used by Google. Company logos do not count.
> The contents of the release are truly newsworthy and justify coverage. Don't waste extra dollars on fluff releases.
> A company needs to aggressively build inbound links for competitive keyword phrases to increase positioning in organic search results.
> A company spokesperson is knowledgeable about the topic of the release, and is interested and available to participate in the podcast interview.