PR Newswire: Bad News

When a large, costly wire distribution service is bad news for your message.
We recently tested a leading wire service by distributing a media release. It should have been simple enough, but it proved to be complicated, costly and the results, or lack of them, was eye-opening.

Misleading, Inaccurate

1) PR Newswire claims our release may have been seen by 76,000,231 daily visitors going to Yahoo Finance. and by 608,836 visitors/day going to Market Watch by Dowjones.  PR Newswire publishes every single release on Yahoo Finance and Market Watch, regardless if the content is related to Financial News. It’s based on an agreement PR Newswire has with Yahoo Financial News and Market Watch and some other news aggregators.  It includes several thousand of releases by PR Newswire every day Our release received ZERO opening and ZERO clicks from such hidden sources, according to our inbound stats.

2) PR Newswire has similar agreements with the Business Journals. There are Business Journals in many US cities. Let’s take Pacific Business News for an example. PR Newswire claims our story was picked up by the Pacific Business News.

Talking to the Pacific Journal Editor in Chief K. Napier it was confirmed even he didn’t immediately know where one can find the PR Newswire releases on his publication. He pointed out the disclosing statement on the right side of the release says:

“The information on this page is provided by PR Newswire. Pacific Business Journal is not responsible for this content.”

PR Newswire claimed in their success report,  the Pacific Business Journal has 204,256 readers and our release was “picked up” by that publication in every single U.S. city they serve. All business journals are important and widely known publications serving the business world in many U.S. cities. A pick up by every single Business Journal publication around the country would have been fantastic.

Unfortunately the PR Newswire success report about “pick up” could not have been further from the truth. The same counts for the remaining 108 pick ups our story had according to the PR Newswire report.

The Pacific Business Journal in Honolulu, for example, has 10,000 paying subscribers to the print edition, as well as 14,000 to 15,000 free subscribers to the Morning and Afternoon Edition email newsletters. The monthly traffic, total, to all Business Journal websites averages over 1 million page views and a quarter-million unique visitors.

Our release was not published in any print edition, nor was it part of the Pacific Business News email newsletter. The same counts for all the other Business Journals in the country PR Newswire told us our story appeared.

The journal counts 3.2  readers per print copy. This calculation is used by most print newspapers. The page view on their website is for all Business Journals in the U.S.  combined, and not just for one edition.

Business Journal counts their page views based on a month traffic. It’s not the pageview or unique visitor count on one single day (our release was published one time and on one day. Unique visitors are in fact visitors sorted by IP addresses. Since most IP addresses constantly change one single reader going to the Business Journal website every day can easily count for 50 or more readers using this method.

Our “picked up story on the business journal” was only “published on a secondary linked page with thousands of other PR Newswire releases”.  The Pacific Business Journal page showing PR Newswire releases state: The information on this page is provided by PR Newswire. Pacific Business Journal is not responsible for this content.

No Business Journal editor ever saw or noticed our release and could have made a decision to publish our story within their true editorial content.

Views eTN received from the Pacific Business Journal was ONE. This “one view” was our team member testing.

The PR Newswire actually reported every single Business Journal from Wichita, Kansas, New York to Honolulu had exactly 204,256 readers – another myth.
SATELITE FEED: A Whopper Of A Myth Fed to Brands Wanting Coverage
PR Newswire claims to have a satellite feed going directly to the computer of journalists from key publications.
eTN talked to key publications and no one had heard about such a feed. Some journalist receive emails, other subscribe to an RSS feed. In the case of Business Wire, no real journalist ever saw or was pushed our story.
Who Authentically Viewed Our Release?  
PR Newswire claims 249 media saw our release and 296 public viewers saw our release.
Ironically every single “view” except for three, was a media release eTN searched for and clicked on when investigating this story. Very disingenuously, TravelTalkMedia was listed as viewing our story, yet this media outlet ceased operations some time ago.
PR Newswire noted 1035 web crawlers “crawled” the story. This may be true, any website is crawled constantly to be seen by search engines.
One eTN staff member found us on YAHOO, on BING and 12 on Google. This was eTN searching for the other sources PRNewswire claimed we had reached. Four readers found us on, three were our own reporters.
Reaching serious journalists with PR Newswire? Not really! 
With hundreds of press releases emailed by PR Newswire every day the chance a journalist will actually see your release and pick it up is very remote – unless the story is “a must tell” and constitutes unique breaking news, and a reporter reads through thousands of PR Newswire emails or feed posts every day.
Journalists prefer original and brand new content. Since PR Newswire also posts on Google News, Yahoo Financial News and other portals, the wire is competing with the story for first place in the search world. A journalist checking to make sure releases and information are timely will notice PR Newswire is already claiming ownership circulating the story on search engines.  In addition, the story will be posted on other automatic and irrelevant RSS feeds PR Newswire circulates.
Even though they are posted on some back pages of news publications with an agreement in place, there won’t be traffic, and unfortunately, there won’t be readers.  To make it worse, this activity will scare most serious journalists away from the story.  What is left is a newswire acting as a source for stories scaring other publications away from covering it.
Hundreds of made up pickups declared as a victory by PR Newswire remain irrelevant and harmful to get real coverage on truly established publications and news platforms.
It Doesn’t Add Up To Waste Marketing Dollars On Costly Ineffective Distribution
Adding this up, $1200 later our story was not seen by any relevant journalist, it was not “picked up” by anyone. Certainly not 109 times as claimed by PR Newswire. We had a grand total of five unaccounted hits, not 90 Million as presented to us as our results in a report from this expensive, useless distribution.


PR NEWSWIRE  US Release posting : $850.00 + $190.00 set up
PR NEWSWIRE Global posting: $6500.00 + $190.00 set up

Most eTurboNews global  rates are between $50.00 global to $1275.00 with lower unlimited options for subscriptions.