A New Way to Do Press Releases?

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I’ve been playing with the free version of Pitch Engine, a platform for creating and distributing press releases.  Writing about the free version feels a bit unfair, because the paid version is clearly superior to the unpaid version.  Still, I’m all for back links to my website and ANY way I can get the word out about my new book, so…

Pros for the free version:

  1. It enables you to create a press release with multimedia embedded.
  2. Gives you backlinks to your website.
  3. Enables you to promote to existing customer lists and social media accounts.
  4. I really like the “quick facts” feature, where you create Twitter-length facts that people can easily retweet.
  5. It takes advantage of the web.  Now you don’t have to put all your info on one page.  You can have links to contact information, etc.

Cons for the free version:

  1. The text for my press release didn’t show up on the release.  When I asked a service rep about it, she told me Pitch Engine worked best in Google Chrome.  I dutifully downloaded Google Chrome and it worked.  But who wants to download a special browser just to use a website?  Does Google have an ownership stake in this company?
  2. You get one layout.  That’s it.  It’s not a bad layout, but…  Oh, heck. It’s a bad layout.  I get that they need to include ads to make money, but blech!  I feel churlish complaining since it is free.  And the paid versions look awesome.  With the free layout, you really need a landscape style photo – with portrait you’re left with two much white space.  The press release I posted on my own WordPress site outshines it in terms of aesthetics. On the other hand, my WordPress site doesn’t have all those cool “quick facts” features and isn’t distributed to search engines automatically.

The screenshots are too big to include in this post, so here’s a quick comparison:

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