Many industry experts view PR Web as the #1 way to get press releases distributed. Even their most basic package includes distribution to over 250,000 subscribers, many of whom are news professionals. In addition, you can specifically target your releases towards whatever industry you’re in, as well as whatever geographical region you’re in. Finally, PR Web provides in depth analytics so you can figure out what’s working and what’s not.
The first step to getting started with PR Web is to select your distribution package.
Step 1: Create New Release
Log in to your PR Web account and click “Create Release” along the top navigation bar.
Step 2: Select Your Distribution Package
PR Web offers four different distribution packages, starting at $80. Each package has more features and distribution, with the most comprehensive package priced at $360.
Here’s what you need to know about each distribution package:
Basic Package ($99) – Though this is the most bare bones release PR Web offers, it’s is still quite feature-packed. You get distribution to over 250,000 readers, targeted distribution, a one way backlink from a high-PR domain and comprehensive analytics.
Standard Package ($159) – Standard includes everything Basic has, plus a few powerful features. It has included social media functions like Trackbacks, social bookmarking and auto-tweets for Twitter. Your release will also be sent to over 35,000 journalists who specifically requested to receive press releases. You’ll also receive a limited time front page placement for your press release on PRWeb.com.
Advanced Package ($249) – In addition to everything that Standard has, you also get two consultations: An SEO consultation and a free editorial consultation. You can also specify anchor text keywords for your backlink, as well as target 10 industries instead of 5.
Premium Package ($369) – In addition to everything Advanced has, you also get distribution to the Associated Press, which syndicates its releases to reporters from many major newspapers. You can also embed videos into your press release.
Financial Package ($499) – Want to be featured on top financial sites like Yahoo Finance, Wall Street or Bloomberg? You can also use this package if you want to add credibility logos to your website.
Here’s what the package selection screen looks like:
Once you’re ready, click Additional Options to continue.
Step 3 – Select Distribution Enhancements
In addition to selecting your baseline package, you can also choose from a number of distribution enhancements.
Here’s what each option entails:
Editorial Services – You can have a PR Web professional consult with you by phone, then edit your release for you; or you can have a PR Web professional write your entire release for you; or you can have an SEO specialist go over your release and optimize it for the best search engine results.
Business Visibility – Submit your release to a wide range of business oriented news feeds, including Google Finance, AOL Money, Bloomberg and the International Business Times.
Press Release Ranking Options – Pay extra money to rank higher on PR Web’s website.
Media Digest – You can have your press release included in digests that are sent out to industry professionals and journalists.
Click Payment when you’ve selected your options.
Step 4 – Press Release Payment
Once you’ve selected your distribution options, the next step is to pay for your press release. You can pay via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or PayPal. Select your payment method and click Submit Order. Once your payment is processed, you’ll see a receipt.
Once payment is complete, click on “Upload Your Release” to begin the press release creation process!
Creating Your Press Release
Here’s how to create your press release once you’ve completed payment.
Before you actually write your release, it’s usually a good idea to read over PR Web’s editorial guidelines.
As a rule of thumb, your press release should be between 350 and 800 words. You’ll need a valid email, phone number and website to submit a release.
Your release should be timely, newsworthy and relevant to the audience. Naturally, it should not contain any sexually explicit, libelous or inflammatory content.
Quotes and sources should be properly attributed to the best of your ability.
Step 1: Headline and Summary
The first thing to write is your headline and your summary. These are two of the most important parts of your press release.
Remember that journalists and news professionals get dozens, sometimes hundreds of press releases every day. Unless you stand out and catch their attention, chances are they won’t even read your press release.
Many journalists just scan headlines and summaries and only read a handful of press releases each day.
Your headline and summary needs to be able to hook these journalists’ attention and get them to investigate further. If you spend as much as 50% of your press release writing time on just the headline and summary, that would be time well spent.
To edit the headline or the summary, just click on the headline or summary box.
Step 2: Editing Body Text
To edit the body of your press release, just click on the large empty box below Summary. Write your press release in this box. Alternatively, you can copy and paste a pre-written press release from Word, WordPad or Notepad into this box. It’s formatting is fairly robust and will be able to convert most documents properly. In other words, copying and pasting from Word won’t make it look weird. That said, occasionally the system will delete paragraph breaks when you paste in text, so you’ll have to go back in to insert paragraph breaks where it’s appropriate.
Step 3: Adding Images to Your Press Release
To add an image to your press release, click on the “Add a File” button on the right hand side. You’ll be taken to the gallery, which will by default be blank. Click on Upload a New File to choose what file to upload. Select the file you want to upload. Give it a caption if you want. Keep in mind that captions are often a highly read segment of the page, because the image draws attention. Also, if you’re using stock image or royalty free images, many sites will require that you give attribution in the caption. Give an ALT tag and/or description to help with SEO. Click Upload when you’re finished. Once you’ve uploaded your file, you’ll be taken back to the gallery that now has your image. Click on Add to add that image to your press release.
Step 4: Changing Your Contact Information
Each press release requires you to submit updated contact information. The system doesn’t just pull it from your personal data, because often different press releases will have different contacts. To change your contact information, click on the blank contact box. Then update your contact information in the box that pops up.
Step 5: Save and Continue
On the left hand side of the editing page is a progress bar that steadily fills up as you complete your press release. Once you’ve written your headline, your summary, your body and added your contact information, this progress bar should show 100%.
Once the progress bar’s at 100%, click “Save and Continue” to select your final release options and send out your press release to thousands of journalists!
Submitting Your Press Release
Once you’ve written your press release, there are still a whole host of options to choose from before your release actually goes live.
Here’s how to choose from these options and submit your release.
Step 1: Select Your Distribution Date
When do you want your release to actually go live? Generally it’s a good idea to set it a little bit in the future just in case you want to edit the press release before it’s actually released.
Release times are basically set at 12:00 AM CST for whichever date you set.
Step 2: Set Country and Zip Code
Tell PR Web what country you’re sending the Press Release from and what your zip code is. PR Web will then use that data to look up your city and state and post that along with your press release.
Step 3: Select Your Target Industries
By default, PR Web will send your press release out to all the generic news syndication sites like Topix and Yahoo! News.
However, PR Web can also send your news release out to specific categories of journalists. At the basic account, you can send your release out to 5 categories of subscribers and feeds. At the premium level, you can select as many as 10.
Choose the 5 most relevant to your market. In general it’s a good idea to use up all 5 of your industry targets to get broader exposure to your press release. Click the drop down box to access more specific sub-categories.
Step 4: Select Regional Distribution
In addition to topic-based distribution, you can also choose to distribute your press release regionally.
That means local newspapers, local blog sites, local magazines and local journalists in the areas you select will also receive your press release. Again, you should use up all your available regional targeting to get maximum exposure, even if your articles are meant for a global audience.
Step 5: Submission Complete
Once you’ve selected all your options, click on Submit Release to have your release reviewed by PR Web and then submitted. After hitting submit, you’ll see a confirmation screen that looks like this:
Congratulations! You’ve now created and submitted your first press release on PR Web. The next step is to wait for approval, then watch your analytics as the traffic comes streaming in.
PR Web Analytics
PR Web offers a wide range of analytics so you can tell exactly how each press release is performing. Using PR Web’s analytics data, you can tell exactly how many people saw your release, how many people read your release, how many people printed out your release, where these people were from and much more.
To get to the analytics page for a specific release, just click on My Releases, then select Releases. This will take you to a listing of all the press releases you’ve submitted to PR Web. Find the release whose data you want to view, then click on click on Visibility Statistics.
Full Page Reads by Week
Want a breakdown of how many people are reading your press release over time? Look at the full page reads by week section. Sometimes the longer your release has been out, the more traffic you’ll get. At other times, you’ll see an initial spike in traffic followed by a drop.
Headline Impressions by Week
Want to know how many people were exposed to your headline? You can see this number as well, broken down by week. This number can be especially important for branding-oriented advertisers. Although you didn’t get full page views, thousands upon thousands of people were still exposed to your brand, which may very well pay off in the long run.
Users by Geography
Where are most of your users coming from? PR Web shows you this data using placements on Google Maps.
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