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PR Newswire pricing 2024: How much does it cost to send a press release?

PR Newswire pricing 2024: How much does it cost to send a press release?

An in-depth guide to PR Newswire's pricing and the alternatives you can use to get better coverage.

While PR Newswire is one of the most established newswire services around, understanding how their pricing works can be an incredibly confusing process. 

This has left countless PR professionals wondering over time: how much does PR Newswire actually cost to use?

Cutting straight to the chase: PR Newswire’s starting price is $195 for an annual membership. But, paying for this membership doesn’t take care of everything. To actually get the job of distributing a press release done, you’ll also face costs for distribution (starting at $350) and add-on services (e.g. increased word count, media inclusion, etc.), quickly leading to a substantially high total price. 

In this guide, we’ll dive deeper into these details, breaking down all of the potential costs of using PR Newswire and what they mean for your budget.

Disclaimer: This information is based on extensive research, though may not be 100% accurate. For the most up-to-date PR Newswire pricing, we suggest contacting someone from their sales team.

How effective are wire services? Expectations vs. Reality

Before breaking down PR Newswire’s pricing, we feel it’s necessary to share a brief disclaimer about the risks involved in investing into wire services.

For many PR professionals, wire services like PR Newswire are a staple in their toolkit. Often, they’re perceived as a fast track to media exposure and authority. But does the reality live up to the expectation?

Expectations: The common pitch is that wire services will amplify your press release across major news outlets, potentially boosting your SEO and establishing your brand as an authority in your field. They're often viewed as a shortcut to gaining authority and visibility in a crowded digital space.

Reality: The reality, however, is more nuanced. From our experience, the harsh truth is that wire services are mostly overpriced and useless. Their impact on SEO and search engine visibility is often small, with most press releases never even appearing in the SERP (search engine results page). While wire services do distribute your content widely, it’s usually to ineffective channels. This leaves you competing for attention in crowded, low-impact channels that your desired audience often doesn’t even use.

PR Newswire reviews

[browser]A comment left by an ex-wire-service user on a Reddit post questioning the efficacy of wire services.
A comment left by an ex-wire-service user on a Reddit post questioning the efficacy of wire services.
[browser]Source: Quora
Source: Quora
[browser]Reviews on G2 are mixed, with criticism focusing on efficacy, value, and customer service.
Reviews on G2 are mixed, with criticism focusing on efficacy, value, and customer service.

This reality check is crucial when considering the cost of wire services like PR Newswire and their potential for providing ROI. As we explain more about PR Newswire's pricing, keep these points in mind to help assess its true value for your PR efforts.

Our comprehensive guide to PR Newswire's pricing

PR Newswire's pricing is complex, coming with different tiers and add-ons to take into account. To make things easy, we’ve grouped their pricing factors into three distinct categories: annual membership, distribution, and add-ons. 

Here's an overview on each.

PR Newswire’s annual membership fee cost

The basic entry point to PR Newswire is a required $195 annual membership fee (or $249 if you need an invoice). 

When you pay their annual membership fee, here's what you get:

  • Access to the PR Newswire distribution network
  • Editorial support and services (i.e. proofreading and press release advice)
  • Phone/webinar training for PR Newswire’s services
  • Members-only educational & strategic content
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Analytics and reporting tools
  • Regulatory support to ensure your releases are compliant

In short, by paying the PR Newswire membership fee, you’ll get access to their network, and the support and tools to help you get a release ready for distribution. 

Bear in mind, a PR Newswire membership does not actually get any of your releases distributed. This will come at an extra cost. 

PR Newswire’s distribution costs

To actually distribute your release, you’ll need to pay a distribution cost per release. This cost mostly varies depending on where you want your release distributed (state & local, regional, national, or international) and what is in it (word count, multimedia files, etc). 

While complex, for each level of distribution pricing, we’ve added tables to help make it all easier to understand.

State & local distribution: $350 per release in most states/local areas, though this increases to $445 for releases in New York and New Jersey.

Distribution area

Price for 400 words

Additional 100 words

New York Metro

$445

$140

New York State

$445

$140

New Jersey plus key NYC

$445

$140

All other state/local options

$350

$140

Regional distribution: $475 per release for New England, the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest, and the Washington DC region. For all other US regions, $575 per release.

Regional & Top Markets

Price for 400 words

Additional 100 words

Top Markets

$575

$165

Northeast

$575

$165

Southeast

$575

$165

Midwest

$575

$165

West/Southwest

$575

$165

New England

$475

$140

Pacific Northwest

$475

$140

Southwest

$475

$140

Washington DC Region

$475

$140

National distribution: $805 per release ($880 if you also want them to share your release on their social feeds). 

National distribution options

Price for 400 words

Extra 100 words

US

$805

$245

US + Social Sharing

$880

$245

US (Specific to Industry Journalist Circuits)

$805

$245

Multicultural distribution: Prices vary more widely for multicultural distribution, though range anywhere from $325 to $1,075 per release.

Multicultural distribution options

Price for 400 words

Extra 100 words

National Hispanic (English & Spanish)

$995

$290

Multicultural Markets (Hispanic, African American, Asian American, Native American)

$1,075

$260

National Hispanic Only

$595

$180

Regional Hispanic (Choose one region)

$470

$160

North American Chinese

$385

$115

African American

$325

$100

Local Hispanic (Choose one state)

$325

$100

International distribution: You’ll also find a wide variation in pricing for international distribution depending on where you’re targeting (Europe, Asia, Global, etc.). These start from $1,500 and go all the way up to $8,700.

Global distribution options

Price for 400 words

Extra 100 words

Premier Global

$8,700

$2,200

World General Media

$5,000

$1,300

World Financial Markets

$4,700

$1,200

Pan Europe

$3,500

$900

Pan Asia

$3,500

$900

Full Latin America

$1,500

$400

Pan Africa

$1,500

$400

US + Canada Bilingual

$1,200

$300

US + UK

$1,200

$300

US + China

$1,200

$300

PR Newswire’s additional costs

If you want your press release to be a bit longer, include multimedia, or even just have your logo on it, you’ll also be looking at extra fees. Here’s a breakdown on those:

Word count: The standard distribution pricing covers a 400-word press release. If your content exceeds this, you’ll be charged extra, ranging from $140–-$245 for every additional 100 words.

Multimedia inclusions: Adding images, videos, or audio to your press release costs an additional $325 per multimedia item. For PDFs, it’s an extra $125.

Logo addition: To include your company’s logo, there’s an additional cost of $495.

Multimedia distribution options

Price

Image, video, audio

$325

PDF

$125

Logo

$495

Putting PR Newswire’s costs into perspective: An example

Let’s say you have a 1,000-word press release with your logo on it and two images that you’d like to distribute nationally. Considering the prices above, you’d be looking at:

  • $195 for the membership
  • $805 for national distribution
  • At least $840 for 600 additional words
  • $650 for two images
  • $495 for your logo
  • = $2,985 total (or more) for one press release

Before signing up, consider these expenses to make sure that newswire services will bring in enough business to justify the high costs. 

Otherwise, it may be worth assessing if other approaches will be more impactful for your PR strategy.

Note: PR Newswire also mentions that they can make custom pricing packages containing a mix of their solutions at one fixed rate. To get a confirmed price on your press release, we recommend contacting their sales team directly.

What’s the ROI of using PR Newswire?

With such a high cost, it's crucial to understand the likely return on investment (ROI) of PR Newswire before committing to it. 

Since results can vary widely, giving an exact financial figure is difficult. Instead, here's a straightforward look at the average results businesses will see from using PR Newswire and how they can factor into ROI:

  • Reach and Exposure (number of views): ~1,000+
  • Media Pickups: 100-300 media outlets
  • Site Traffic Impact: 10%-20% increase
  • Conversion Rates: ~1-3% improvement in conversions (i.e. sales or inquiries)

Looking at these numbers, to roughly estimate ROI for your business, compare the cost of distribution with the value of expected outcomes.

Here are some back-of-the-napkin ROI examples:

Example scenario 1

Legal firm with an average contract value (ACV) of $10,000

  • PR Newswire distribution cost: $3,000
  • Traffic from distribution: 1,000
  • Leads from distribution: 5
  • Sales from distribution: 1
  • Revenue: $10,000
  • ROI: $7,000

Example scenario 2

Ecommerce brand with an average order value (AOV) of $30. 

  • PR Newswire distribution cost: $1,000
  • Traffic from distribution: 500
  • Conversion rate with distribution: 4%
  • Revenue: $600
  • ROI: -$400

Our verdict on PR Newswire’s pricing

As we've explored the pricing and offerings of PR Newswire, alongside competitors and alternatives, a few key points stand out. 

First, while PR Newswire and similar wire services offer widespread distribution, their actual impact and value is often minimal (especially for the high price tag).

On the other hand, following a PR strategy centered around building direct relationships with journalists can create high-impact, long-term results (at a far lower cost).

Ultimately, wire services may have their place in your PR planning, but we suggest shifting your focus towards relationship-building and strategic storytelling.

Prezly – software for modern PR teams

  • Write & publish brand stories in an online newsroom

  • Send email campaigns, pitches & newsletters

  • Manage all your contact lists in a single CRM, with easy import & export

  • Measure performance to see who's engaging with your stories

PR Newswire alternatives

Let’s now compare PR Newswire with other key players in the market. 

Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best; it’s about finding the right balance of cost, reach, and service quality. Here's a look at some alternatives and their starting prices, to give you a broader perspective:

  • EIN Presswire: Starts at $99 per release – offers dedicated SEO services, but limited to 5 distribution channels per release
  • eReleases: Starts at $399 per release – the only service other than PR Newswire that offers custom national distribution
  • 24-7 Press Release: Starts at $29 per release – Affordable, but only focuses on small markets
  • PR Underground: Starts at $75 per release – affordable and user-friendly, but struggles with large media files
  • ACCESSWIRE: Starts at $175 per release – higher-priced, but offers unlimited media and word counts
  • SBWire: Starts at $49 per release – includes tracking services, but does not have SEO functionality
  • Send2Press: Starts at $99 per release – well-rounded, but limited in media outlets you can distribute to
  • Newswire: Starts at $349 per release – a robust platform, but comes with additional fees for high word counts, multimedia, and more
  • NewswireJet: Starts at $59 per release – distributes to hundreds of outlets, but only suitable for small- and medium-sized companies

For more detailed pricing information and to understand how these services align with your specific PR goals, we recommend reaching out directly to each company.

Performing effective PR without relying on Wire Services

Shaken up after seeing how expensive wire services like PR Newswire are?

Luckily, today, success in PR isn't solely dependent on wire services. If anything, we suggest skipping them altogether. 

Instead, we’re strong advocates for earning distribution by building relationships with journalists and influencers in your industry through targeted outreach.

How does this work exactly? Specifically, we suggest using an all-in-one PR tool (like Prezly) to build your own list of media contacts, grow relationships with them through personalized outreach, and share your visual press releases with them (along with your wider audience) through your own SEO-friendly multimedia newsrooms.

An example of what your online newsroom might look like:

Company logo

Example: A minimalist newsroom made with Prezly

A minimalist newsroom made with Prezly

By following this more modern, holistic approach to press release distribution, you’ll attract more journalists and achieve long-term results without having to invest any money into wire services. 

You’ll also have full control over your message, can more effectively build your brand’s authority, and earn far more meaningful media coverage.

If you’d like to learn our exact approach to effectively sending out a press release using a modern PR strategy, we suggest reading our in-depth guide on press release distribution.

Ready to ditch newswire services?

Now that you have a deeper understanding of PR Newswire's pricing and the broader world of PR distribution options, it's time to take the next step. 

If you're looking for a more targeted and relationship-focused approach to PR, Prezly might be the perfect fit for your needs.

With Prezly, you’ll have the tools you need to craft a PR strategy that resonates with your audience and aligns with your brand's goals, all while being mindful of your budget. 

Prezly – software for modern PR teams

  • Write & publish brand stories in an online newsroom

  • Send email campaigns, pitches & newsletters

  • Manage all your contact lists in a single CRM, with easy import & export

  • Measure performance to see who's engaging with your stories

Jasper Flour

Jasper Flour

Growth Marketer

 

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