Two PR Tips from Barbara:

Avoid self-serving, me-centered releases. A release must always contain newsworthy information or have great human interest appeal. No one will publish "I am wonderful" releases that are merely stories about how you got started in business and now you have all these great products or services for sale.

Write in third-person voice, as though someone else had written the release about you. This makes it easy to quote yourself, which is important. Since publicity legitimizes information, you can make strong statements about your business or yourself through quotes in a news release and people will believe them simply because they have appeared in print.

Your most important goal should be to answer the question all editors and prospective buyers will ask: What's in it for ME?


Copyright © 2000-2013
by Barbara Brabec
All Rights Reserved
Barbara Brabec's World

Using PR Web's News Release
Distribution Services

by Barbara Brabec

An interview with a PR expert Traci Vanover resulted in some excellent tips for getting the best results when using the services of PR Web.

PR EXPERT TRACI VANOVER says that is the most respected—and admittedly the most popular—news release distribution service out there, but you need to know what you're going to get when you sign up for their service.

"When PR Web amended their distribution policies in October of 2006, it was a move that has dramatically changed the way that releases are now being distributed," she explains. "The $80 level is essentially what the 'free' version used to be, and it is not a very comprehensive distribution. In fact, it's one that we never use personally, nor do we recommend it to our clients."

I've signed up to receive news releases from PR Web on various topics, so I was surprised when I didn't receive the news release sent by an author friend of mine. When I told her this, and suggested she contact PR Web to see just where her release had actually been sent, she had a rude awakening. Turns out that her release hadn't been distributed to thousands of individual media contacts (as she had been led to believe), but was sent only to Google News and Yahoo News, who then "spidered" the release from that point. And that was because she had selected PR Web's basic $80 package.

In discussing this problem with Traci, she emphasized that, to get efficient distribution when working with PR Web, you have to at least go with the $120 package. "This offers you the ability to target specific markets and enter keywords," she explained. "And this has become increasingly more important because more and more media outlets are receiving releases via direct feeds. These feeds can be ones that they have set up for themselves, or ones that are automatically forwarded to them based on subject matter. In either case, a release without good keywords is dead in the water before it even has a chance. Regardless of which package you select, you should take advantage of every option that is available to you, whether it be Technorati® keywords, keyword selection for subject area, image uploads, or PDF documents that may be relevant to the release.

"Other updates you can elect," Traci adds, "include a 4 to 5 minute podcast segment, or even a 20 minute interview—both conducted by a rep from PR Web. I have used this one myself, and it was a great way to get a professionally produced MP3 file—one that I was then able to upload to my own site to archive permanently."

Note that you cannot find any of this pricing information on PR Web’s site until you actually register with them. Then you will be directed to your account page where you can select the package you wish to use. Traci offers these additional tips for those who want to handle their own PR:

1. Be sure to write a compelling title for the news release. Your release will often be opened (or tossed) by media outlets based upon this, so make it count. There is nothing wrong with adding a brief subtitle to provide additional information as to the content of the release. Remember to include a brief synopsis paragraph. (If you select Pr Web's $120 package, you will be prompted to do this.)

2. Do a search for other releases on PR Web that share your subject matter. Take a look at what keywords they used, and use them as a guide to selecting your own.

3. Look at the PR Web market selections, and choose yours carefully. (Three to five usually come with the $120 package.)

An added benefit of using Traci’s PR service is that her clients get added distribution through her own publicity database. If you need help in writing or distributing a news releases, contact Traci at

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