Best Free Press Release Distribution Sites (when you have no PR Budget)

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free press release distribution sites



Press releases are an important part of a robust, long-term Brand PR campaign.  And, they actually make a lot of sense for experts and small businesses.

So what about distribution?

While I don’t recommend using a distribution service (free or paid) for all press releases, using one does make sense when you have really big news.

How do you know when your news is big enough to warrant a press release?

Here's a quick test

  • Is this news really helpful, interesting, and meaningful? Is it something people will want to read and should be aware of?
  • Will it appeal to a wide number of media outlets/reporters?
  • Is your press release presented in a way that provides value?
If you've answered a big yes to each of these questions, go ahead and read on.




No PR Budget? Check out this list of the top, free, press release distribution sites. #publicity #entrepreneur #diypr
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I’ve done a bit of research on several free press release distribution services.  Here are the sites with the top results.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: while I don’t recommend press releases for every little bit of news you want to pitch for your core PR strategy, they do have a place for certain types of news, and certain types of results.)


What I Evaluated in Free Press Release Distribution Services:

  • Domain Authority:   You know the saying, “You’re only as good as those you surround yourself with”?  Same applies to web sites.  Obviously, you want a service that has a high rank in search engines.  The more visible your press release is, the bigger your potential impact. I used ​MOZbar to find each site's domain authority. Higher numbers are better).
  • SEO functionality:  Good ol’ Search Engine Optimization.  Although SEO should never be the purpose of distributing your press release, you’ll want to make sure the service you choose will allow you to use tags, header tags, anchor text links, etc. to get the most out of your press release.  Their web site should have some sort of statement about press release optimization for search engines.  
  •  “NoFollow” Tags:  These instruct search engines that a hyperlink shouldn’t influence the link target’s ranking.  This is to avoid being penalized by Google’s algorithm.
  • Cost:  There are both paid and free services for press release distribution.  This post is about free services, and depending on the service, things like photos and videos may or may not be included.  These are available for an additional fee, which varies from provider to provider.


Here are the free distribution sites that made the list:

PRLog.org – This site allows links, tags, and branding for free, and has high traffic and inbound links.   You can also create a free, ad-free, press room or business profile that you can embed right onto your web site, and register for a free news alert service. You can also register multiple keywords that you want monitored. Journalists and Bloggers can also sign up for an account to post queries. However, your press release may only be up for a specified period of time, in most cases, 90 days.  (MOZ ranking: 83)

PR.com – The free package here allows for a reduced distribution to general search engines, in PR.com, to some 3rd party and news websites, and RSS feeds.  They have other tiers ranging from $30-$100 that offer additional distribution and features that you can check out here: http://www.pr.com/press-release-pricing. (MOZ ranking: 79)

Onlineprnews.com –Has a free distribution, and paid ones ranging from $22 for social media distribution to $549 for a video release. The free distribution allows you a live URL link, displays your website before your release, and optimizes your page title and meta tags based on your headline and press release summary. (MOZ ranking: 59)

PRUrgent.com --  This site offers a free distribution, as well as a $9.95 ‘Express Submission’ upsell that distributes it within 24 hours, moves it up above the other, free, releases, and gives it a ‘featured star rating.’ (MOZ ranking: 48)

Have you used any of these free sites? Or had great results from another one? Let me know in the comments below.  And, if you know of a solo expert or small business owner who might find this helpful, please share it!

My Publicity Workshop students who are using press releases have received not only great coverage as a result, but one, Kenisha Coy, told me that a reporter told her that her press release was the most professionally done one he’d ever seen, and he wished more people would send him more like it. She got lots of great media coverage as a result, and reporters are now coming to her for more stories.


About the Author Melanie Downey

I'm Melanie Downey, small business brand innovator and public relations expert. I like to teach and write about what I've learned in 20 years working in brand development, PR, and marketing. And when I'm not doing that, I cook, drive my kids around, hang out with my hairless dog, Penny, and practice playing my ukulele.

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