How much should I expect to pay for a PR service and can you recommend one?


I'd like to publish a Press Release for my language Q&A site.

  • How much should I expect to pay for a PR service and can you recommend one ?
  • Should I only pay for distribution and get the actual PR written by someone else?
  • Is it realistic to think a PR would be effective given the nature of my startup ?
  • Could you share your experience dealing with PR agencies?

Many thanks !

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asked Feb 18 '10 at 01:23
Olivier Lalonde
2,753 points

2 Answers


A few thoughts that I use for myself. I don't know hardly anything about your situation so you'll have to determine what applies to you:


  • There are a number of press release distribution services, some free, some that charge a lot. Depends on what you're touting, what you want to achieve, how newsworthy your release really is, appeal to your audience, your budget, etc. From PRWeb to PR Newswire. There's everything from free to a few hundred dollars per release to more. Typically with my companies I've used PR Newswire, spent a few hundred bucks for reasonably broad distribution across the U.S. and been happy with the value. I don't have experience with the free services and I haven't really evaluated real recently.
  • In today's world, press releases for startups usually are more about pushing your press release like a news story across the web to be automatically posted on potentially hundreds/thousands of sites based on the distribution of the press release service you use. Depends on your product/service but getting some media outlet to take notice and write a real story about you is the exception vs. the rule. But you will get visibility and drive traffic.
  • With links back to your site in the release, you'll not only drive traffic from readers clicking, but you'll get some SEO value with the backlinks.
  • To the point above, write it with the end reader in mind. Who do you want to read it? Imagine they see the headline and sub-head on a news site - will it pull them in?
  • Make sure it's got some real newsworthiness to it not just a fluff piece.
  • It can be helpful to see press releases of established companies and how they're structured to get a sense of typically how it's done. But depending on your situation, you may want to get someone with some expertise. I've never had a service like PR Newswire write my releases. Not even sure they do that. Typically it's the agency, the consultant or the client (you) who does it.


  • A PR resource is often about the contacts they have. Agencies will have more overhead than individual consultants or small two or three man shops. And won't want to deal with you unless you've got a $5k monthly budget is what I've generally seen. That's for a medium sized agency. And they like retainers. And if you're in that low threshold range you're likely to be treated that way. They'll have a lot of other clients.
  • A PR consultant can be retainer based (you pay a set amount each month) or they can be project based. Either pricing things based on a project (e.g. charge you let's say $250 to write a press release) or bill you hourly (charge you anywhere from probably $75 - $150/hour and you pay based on how long a project takes.
  • You can often interview a consultant for their PR services and if they're good, they'll help guide you in terms of what you might need. Press releases, specific media outreach in specific industries/spaces, article placements, events, positioning/messaging, social media campaigns, event/speaking engagements, etc. Determine what services you need and don't need and then interview a few candidates.

Hope that helps some.


answered Feb 18 '10 at 10:13
4,214 points
  • BTW - I had written this up for a friend of mine who asked basically the same question. – Chris 14 years ago


I have upvoted Chris's answer, as I have not much to add except for our practical experience:

Assuming that you have never issued a press-release before, I'd suggest you go for a PRWEB package that enables you to add keyword-reach links to your press-release. It used to start from $200, and is a very good way to seed a bunch of incoming links. I believe they will also edit your release for spelling and clarity at no extra cost.

Also consider eReleases, which is basically a (cheaper) backdoor to PR Newswire that otherwise would cost you an arm and a leg.

In any case, you must also try to establish contacts with specific journalists covering your niche and send them your news in advance.

answered Feb 18 '10 at 16:42
Dmitry Leskov
606 points

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