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Why you shouldn’t rely on a Newswire service to get your story published

Many business people I’ve worked with over the years have tried using a newswire service to send their press releases out to the media in hopes of getting editorial coverage. Each time I ask, “how did it go? Get any results?” Every time the response has been “no.”


Photo credit: Photo by Rafay Ansari on Unsplash


For most people, using a press release template and filling it out with company information, then paying a newswire distribution service to send it out to media, just isn’t working. So why is it so hard to get results?


PR pros know how to pitch effectively

"The media is receiving hundreds to thousands of pitches every day/week. YOU NEED to CUT through the competition."

Your pitch has to stand out from the many pitches they receive. In America, there are 6.2 PR pros for every (1) journalist (source). This doesn’t include each business person using newswire distribution services. There is an art form in pitching media as different types of outlets (tv, radio, podcast, online, etc.) need different things to create their story. It is pretty common for clients and people to bury their news towards the bottom of a press release. The media only read the first paragraph or two at best. That is the first scan before they press delete or reply.

Recently I read on PR News that the average open rate for journalists and media is 36% - 40% . They aren’t even looking at many pitches, which brings me to the next aspect to talk about.


Following Up

You don’t just send a PR pitch or press release out once and then say, ok, that’s done. You pitch this story to different media that make sense and seem to be in alignment. AND you do a friendly reminder to the journalist. Many journalists have thanked me for bringing a pitch back to the top of their inbox, and then we start liaising about a story.

But there is a balance; too many follow-ups and the journalist will block you. Personally, I do one to two follow-ups per pitch.

Personalized pitching approach

"When working on a story/pitch, I put alerts on topics and research other similar stories to stay current on media people covering."

For example researching Black Friday Sales 2022 to see who might be interested to hear about my client’s upcoming holiday sales. A newswire distribution company doesn’t offer this sort of boutique service that a PR pro can. And some of the media lists I’ve seen on distribution services are outdated. The journalist that covered last year might not be covering this year. The media moves around, especially in the past couple of years with the many changes. So it is always worth spending a few hours researching current media and the stories they are covering.


Different pitches present different opportunities as they each cover distinct topics and genres. For example, horror films can be pitched to film media AND the horror genre. But if it were a comedy, you wouldn’t pitch it to the horror film media UNLESS it was a horror comedy. It truly is a case-by-case basis, and each pitch needs different journalists and media outlets on the targeted media pitch list.

Make sure you are actually pitching the right journalists for the story

Over the years, I’ve also seen that when a media list is pulled from a newswire, it can include random journalists. For example, “tech,” the media list can consist of biochemistry and all sorts of science and tech. But that isn’t the correct type of media to pitch an electronic or lifestyle tech product. And depending on the “tech,” in addition, it could be pitched to other genres within the media “women’s interest,” “men’s interest,” “health and wellbeing,” “foodtech,” etc. Or maybe the audio tech product is portable and might be great for “travel” media as well.


It is very important to match the pitch to the journalist and media outlets and find the appropriate hooks suitable to each genre/type of media. This requires some research!!! Yes, PR that gets results is time-consuming.

Don’t use newswire distribution services if you want authentic press results

But it is acceptable and understandable if you use the service for SEO and appeasing partners. This is not the same objective as getting press results on authentic third-party media outlets. I’ve seen people declare a published press release on a newswire online as an “editorial.” But I disagree.



I hope this helps explain how PR pros pitch differently to a newswire service.

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