Blogging on Biotech

Thoughts on Biotech News and Topics

PR Distribution Standards Demystified

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I recently met the editors of three well-known trade publications focusing on medical research and contract manufacturing. The editors told me that their publications have been approached by Business Wire, PR Newswire and other wire services who wanted their press release feeds to be added to the publications websites, through a mechanism called news syndication.

The publishers of all three media refused as syndication is not in accordance with their high editorial standards.

Many other media websites, however, are not so strict and accept the news feeds from PR Newswire and Business Wire. What is the benefit for the customer? With the exception of impressive looking distribution reports there is no benefit! Syndicated press releases are not further circulated via newsletters or RSS feeds. They often disappear a soon as novel stories arrive. Web pages with syndicated press releases are like junk boxes for news.

PR agencies are aware of this nuisance
A representative of a leading life sciences PR agency told me that press releases distributed by Business Wire and PR Newswire need to be followed up because their distributions due to syndication are broad and unspecific!

Examples of biotech media websites accepting news syndication:
http://www.ddw-online.com/drug-discovery-world:-daily-news-feed/ (BW)
http://www.asianhhm.com/press/ (BW)
http://www.pharmafocusasia.com/news/ (PRN, GN)
http://www.pharmaceutical-tech.com/news/ (PRN, GN)
http://www.appliedclinicaltrialsonline.com/appliedclinicaltrials/article/articleList.jsp?&numberOfDays=0&categoryId=48852 (PRN)
http://www.pharmiweb.com/PressReleases/default.asp (BW)

BW: Business Wire
PRN: PR Newswire
GN: GlobeNewswire

If your press release shows up on any of these websites this means nothing and is no guarantee that an editor has seen it!

No follow-up of press releases is needed when you distribute your news via B3C newswire. B3C sends your news directly to the editors of the biotech and pharmaceutical trade media worldwide. All of our media titles and editorial contacts have been hand-picked over many years in business. We have the most comprehensive media lists in this industry with a lot of specialized channels such as for Clinical Trials, Biomanufacturing, Lab & Research, Med. Devices & Diagnostics etc. We’ll be glad to give you an online demonstration of our media lists.

Written by b3cnewswire

October 28, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Which distribution channel should I use?

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No wire service can guarantee you any media pickup. It increasingly gets around that the syndication-based monitoring reports they provide are a sham. Real media pick up depends strongly on the channels used, and the news release of course.

Which distribution channel should I use?
It is almost impossible to understand the PR packages of big wires. Which circuits of the health wire are relevant for my news? Does it have a global reach? Does the biotech newsline also target major European trade media? Or is it just national? Do I need microlist distribution? How do all these services compare to each other? I’ve made it a rule to be skeptical towards everything whose meaning is not immediately clear.

About 40% of the trades are located in Europe. If an American company chooses only national distribution it will miss a lot of awareness! And vice versa. But you really have to have deep pockets if you use the big wire services for a global distribution in trade media.

When you are a private company it is almost impossible to get into the financial magazines. Why should you pay this reach? Most editors have a science background and talk English. Why should you pay multiple translations? Companies increasingly switch to B3C newswire because they know that they get the maximum reach in trade media at fair rates.

B3C newswire has a global reach, is transparent and affordable
B3C newswire targets the editors of biotech and pharma trade media worldwide at fraction of costs that charge big wire services. The editors have set preferences on the news topics they are interested in to ensure maximum awareness. All our media titles and editorial contacts have been hand-picked over many years. We know exactly —on a personal level —who has received our press releases. In addition, we tweet your release (2,000+ biotech-specific followers) and submit it to biotech and pharma groups on LinkedIn (300,000 biotech professionals). Who else does that?

Written by b3cnewswire

June 28, 2013 at 10:34 am

Why Free PR Distribution Services Don’t Work

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Free press release distribution services rely on search engine visibility. Search engine visibility is surely important for consumer news, but I doubt that it is for B2B news. Reaching let’s say 1,000 ‘cold’ web surfers that result in no feedback, media pickup or sales is not the same as obtaining targeted media coverage where readership can easily total tens of thousands or more. A visitor who stumbles across a news headline in Google is a cold lead. Someone who reads an actual article about your company and seeks out your website is a warm lead. I would take one warm lead over one hundred cold leads any day of the week. In the end, it’s about ROI (return on investment).

Most free and low-cost PR services never address distribution of your press release to the media. They only generate cold leads. Don’t get me wrong, free press releases serve a purpose: You can see your competitor’s pay-per-click advertisement on your press release Brilliant! At least for the pay-per-click company and for the free press release site!

No influence on your search engine ranking. The backlinks to your website from the free press release provider’s website rarely yields anything more than anecdotal impact on your search engine rankings. The press release provider’s website usually gets the improved search engine rankings from backlinks to your press release on its site, which you don’t own or control. It’s a great business model — for the press release provider. You provide the content, but the press release website benefits most from any traffic and from the ad revenue and/or search engine ranking.

The sad reality is that many companies will never try press releases again after playing the free press release game, having decided that press releases just don’t work.

 

Written by b3cnewswire

June 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Does News Syndication Increase Website Visibility?

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Do you believe that news syndication is an ideal backlink generator? Search engines view backlinks as a “vote” for your site from another and the more backlinks the higher the visibility of your website.

Let me tell you this:

• Syndicated content is usually not stored in an archive. After a couple of days or weeks, your news (and possible backlink) has vanished.

• A syndicated press release is often located on a deep-linked page (not the homepage) which is cluttered with ads. Such pages have a low PageRank and the backlinks are of low value.

Most syndicated websites are anything but biotech-related. Traffic from irrelevant websites will not generate leads or sales. Only a few biotech websites post syndicated news and could produce high value backlinks, provided:

• The embedded links have not been stripped by the posting process (which is often the case) and

• The news was really stored in an archive (which is not often the case).

One of the big generic wires charges around US$250 for the lifetime hosting of press release that includes (permanent) backlinks to your website. If news syndication (a syndication network can easily include 500+ websites)  were really such a reliable backlink generator, a single PR distribution would be worth more than US$50,000 according to this pricing model!

Written by b3cnewswire

May 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

The Value of Free PR Tracking Reports

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Does your wire service provide a free report with links to the ‘published’ release? What are these reports worth?

Many PR practitioners do not understand the difference between a (free) tracking report and a (costly) clipping report. The tracking report is based on news syndication and gives you the instant gratification of seeing your press release go live. A clipping report monitors your media coverage to find what’s being said about your organization, competitors or industry. For such a service you have to pay an extra fee that can easily exceed 1,000 USD per month.

What generic wire services say about their free reports

It ‘delivers links to your press release where it appears on third party web sites. The service samples a fixed set of web sites and provides immediate evidence of your press release’s online visibility.’

You receive ‘tracking over [our] proprietary global network of websites [to which] your release was distributed.’

Has an editor really seen the press release? — Who knows? Who cares (except you)?

One generic wire service even admits that syndication is suitable for people who are ‘not interested in reaching journalists and media directly.’

PR Metrics
For companies who cannot afford expensive clipping tools, the only true metric is whether you get media pickup (check Google!) and feedback from your network and customers as a result of a press release. News tracking reports are nothing more than a proof of distribution.

Written by b3cnewswire

March 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm

If You Want to Hit the Trade Media, Don’t Rely On Syndication

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One of the big generic wire services writes on its website that its syndication service is suitable for people who are ‘not interested in reaching journalists and media directly.’ When syndication is not optimal for reaching the media, why do the big wire services rely on it?

First of all, syndication allows the easy (and free) generation of news tracking reports. Everybody wants to know who has picked up the news and such reports provide just what people want to see! The reports look terrific and give you the instant impression of a great pick up. But be careful: Such reports have nothing to do with a true media monitoring or clipping report. They are just a proof for distribution and beyond that meaningless.

Syndication reaches a network of websites but not necessarily those websites that are relevant for you. For reaching the trade media efficiently, heed to the advice of big generic wire services and contact the editors and journalists directly via e-mail. But this is exactly the weakness of the big wires and where B3C newswire can support you with!

Written by b3cnewswire

February 21, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Syndication: A PR Distribution Mechanism

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Syndication is a form of licensing news content to a network of websites. Some media websites embrace syndication because it lets them provide authoritative content on their sites without developing it themselves. In times of low budgets, this is a resource-saving idea. But does it benefit the company issuing a press release as well?

Syndication does not target media directly
Syndication is suitable for people who are ‘not interested in reaching journalists and media directly.’ This is at least what a big generic wire service writes. This means that syndication does not automatically have your press release reviewed by an editor. If a generic wire service has 500 websites in its syndication network and every website posts (syndicated) press releases, then – theoretically- your news has a high reach. But in truth, syndication is of limited use only as 1) most syndicating websites are irrelevant to the biotech industry and 2) people preferably rely on newsletters, feeds or apps for news. This is why it is so important to target the editors of the trade media!

Syndication reports can be misleading
If you are a client of one of the generic wire services you often receive a free news tracking or release monitoring report that contains links to the published press release. A closer look reveals that many links do not originate from the media websites. For example, links that contain financialcontent.com, studio-5.financialcontent.com, or even the domain of the generic wire service in the URL. In those cases the news is not really published on the media website. It just appears to be so, and anyone who believes that this link is a clipping has been fooled.

Syndication is an easy and cheap way of news distribution
News distribution through syndication can be easily automated. Automation leads to the reduction of staff that was once needed to create a data base of editors, news preferences, etc. with the aim of building and maintaining media lists. This does not necessarily mean that generic wires do not employ people to do this kind of work anymore. But I have the impression that the process of news distribution through syndication is prevailing more and more. The more traditional, one-to-one news delivery via e-mail is much more labor intensive, but it is also much more effective and that’s why we adhere to it.

Written by b3cnewswire

February 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm

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