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Think about this: A mallet can be an invaluable tool. But is it always the right tool? Press release distribution wire services are an often misused, very expensive mallet.

The reality is, most companies pour way too much money into wire services. Each press release distributed through a wire can cost upwards of $1,000, and the ROI is usually quite small. Even with a discounted wire service that charges less, more often than not, that money was misspent.

Still, many companies seem to believe that putting a press release on a wire is an effective way to generate positive publicity. It’s actually a very expensive way to produce very little publicity. In fact, of all PR activities, it has some of the lowest ROI. Allow me to explain.

For the most part, putting a press release on a wire will simply result in the press release being picked up by automatic engines that repost them in random places online, where they are only found if someone specifically searches for your company.

In our industry alone, the number of press releases placed on wires each day is enormous. That’s why reporters set alerts when specific companies distribute a wire. If your company is not on the “it list” of companies reporters are watching, your press release will likely be dead to them. It will literally fall on deaf ears.

That said, if you put a press release on a wire service, is it likely to result in an article written by a reputable publication? Will you get an interview with a reporter? Will you get the ear of influencers and bloggers? The answer to all these questions is usually a resounding “no.” Unless your company is well known, none of the above is likely to happen.

That’s why most companies should not use a newswire service if their desire is to get positive publicity. A wire service is a specific tool used by skilled public relations professionals, but only when the occasion calls for it.

To get an article written on your company, to secure an interview, or to get the attention of an influencer or blogger, you need a publicist to proactively and personally promote your company. That’s the sure-fire way to get publicity.

So, when is a wire service actually effective? And what’s the best way to distribute a press release? We usually reserve that insight for our clients. But if you drop me a note, I would be happy to share that advice and any other advice you’d like. I can be reached at


By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage