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Post Your Press Release - Free

By Francine Silverman
Posted Friday, November 12, 2004

The Internet has become a global bazaar with everyone hawking their wares. Freebies are shrinking as we discover more ways to part with our dollars. As author of the 2003 guidebook, Long Island Alive, I was heartened to discover that ( accepts press releases when the information pertains to Long Island. Shortly after posting a press release about the publication of my book, a Long Island radio station called me for an interview.

It should always be that easy! What if you’re a local business in New Jersey or Iowa who wants to get the word out about a new product featured on your website? In searching for sites that offer free postings of press releases, I came across a piece by Marcia Yudkin, a contributing author at (, which lists nine such sites. However, e-zine articles often lack datelines and can languish at a site for years, so I decided to investigate.

Of the five extant sites, I found ( among the best. One hopes PR Web will continue to offer free press release distribution. It’s an easy site to navigate and virtually every business is welcome to contribute its news. You choose among a long list of industries and your release is placed with that group – the most recent goes at top. Some industries draw many more releases than others. One time there were 941 travel, 548 real estate, and 227 insurance releases to weed through. Sometimes it pays to be unpopular! Two words of advice: Register first at Member Login and examine the site carefully before submitting. A scroll-down menu is at the bottom of the release page and is easy to miss.

Remember as a kid you were rewarded with a gold star for good deeds? PR Web awards stars to its financial contributors. One star is placed beside your release for a $10 donation; the bigger it is, the more stars. And the more stars, the higher up the release. As a free site that keeps your release up for a long time (some date back to Nov. 1999), $10 seems fair.

I tried submitting my press release ten times to Press Box, (, before giving up. The “Timeout” message suggested that “there may be too many people accessing this page.” But when I tried a few hours later, it went through. This is a London-based website “used by thousands of media relations professionals each week,” but it’s hard to know if there are American journalists among them. The site has 20 broad categories, such as sports, finance and health., (, also allows you to post a press release according to your category. If you read some of the releases, you’ll find news about new websites, research findings and promotions – literally everything. Your release appears within 48 hours after acceptance. Readers choose from among headlines that are linked to their respective releases, or select “New Sites” and pick a category. The site claims to average 22,400 visitors a month.

( was the most frustrating, but I was impressed with the support system. After entering my ad (they’re actually releases) and all the required information, the page would not submit regardless of how many times I tried. I e-mailed them and shortly after received an e-mail apologizing that their database was down. The writer, Mary Gillen, asked me to replicate the ad in an e-mail, which I did. She couldn’t have been nicer if I were a paid customer, even e-mailing a thank-you. There are 40 free categories (and 80 for business advertising) but none for travel, so I chose “Pets/animals.” My book has so much information on pet-friendly lodgings and pet stores that I wrote a press release geared to pet owners and submitted it. If you don’t find a fitting category, think about how you can relate it to an available category. For instance, there’s no category for car dealers, but dealers who provide parking and storage and have news about them can choose that category. Or perhaps the dealer is also a musician – there’s a category for music/vocals/instruments. It’s worth checking out.

( is entitled “Las Vegas Comp Getaway’s Free Press Release Announcement Site.” It’s easy to navigate but hard to know what the site’s all about, except that the host, Dreambook, does web hosting. You get as much space as you need and the releases appear immediately, but I can’t help thinking that no one will read it. For one thing, the releases run into one another. Also, there is no way to edit them or anyone to contact.

Are you in real estate, lending or banking? ( accepts all types of releases pertaining to those industries.

So how did these freebies pan out? PR Web provides a record of hits to contributors who pay $10 or more. In less than a week, according to the stats, my release was read three times (probably by me); it was picked up by a media outlet four times, forwarded to a third party seven times and printed nine times. Whether these numbers are considered good, or whether my book will sell more copies, is anyone’s guess.

The keyword here is “luck.”

About the Author
Francine Silverman is author of Catskills Alive and Long Island Alive, guidebooks published by Hunter Publishing and each exceeding 500 pages. (


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