Media Enquiry Services: Costs and comparisons for small business owners

Want your business featured in magazines, newspapers and/or radio and TV - without writing endless press releases - or hiring a PR company?

Using a media enquiry service - which puts journalists who are looking for help with stories in touch with people who want to be featured in the media - can be well worth the investment.

Subscribe to a media enquiry service and you’ll get emails in your inbox every single day from journalists on high-profile media outlets like the Guardian, Marie Claire magazine and the New York Times. All for as little as £20 per month. Sounds almost too good to be true doesn’t it?

But how do you decide which media enquiry service is the best option for you?

Find out in my guide to media enquiry services for small business owners.

Response Source

 

Subscribers to this service receive requests from journalists for case studies, experts and article ideas (by email). Journalists must specify a deadline (time and date) so subscribers can gauge how urgent the request is.

Prices range from £430 for a single subject category (including health, women’s interest and beauty and personal finance) to £15,355 for all 25. Small business owners typically subscribe to three or four categories. At the time of writing, ResponseSource says that 5500 people have submitted nearly 30000 enquiries over the last 12 months.

In the past week alone, I’ve personally been featured in Daily Mail, Women’s Running magazine, and been quoted in a number of articles on business websites - simply by replying to media requests from ResponseSource. Many of my students have also had success with ResponseSource, being featured in Marie Claire, the Daily Mail, Psychologies, Grazia, Good Housekeeping, Stylist and Top Sante, amongst others.

Pros:

ResponseSource offers a week’s free trial of its service.

Cons:  

Expensive for small business owners. However, if you consider the cost of the service spread over the year - compared to the cost of hiring a PR company (upwards of £300 per day on average) - and the potential return on investment, it can actually be really cost-effective PR option for small business owners. 

You will get a LOT of emails. However, if you want great media exposure, this is a small price to pay: you can always redirect them to a specific folder in your inbox.

Cost:

£430 to £15,355 (plus VAT) - although the top end price is for everything and it's very rare people take all categories. 

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HARO

 

Although it's billed as the ‘most popular sourcing service in the English-speaking world’ HARO does seem to be mainly used by the American press (and global outlets such as Reuters and Mashable). HARO distributes over 50,000 queries from journalists every year, so it's definitely worth signing up for the free basic subscription - which includes emails about media opportunities, delivered to your inbox three times a day - to see if it's right for your business. 

Pros

There is a free version and there is no year-long contract for any of the upgrades, which can be cancelled at any time. The upgraded subscriptions include extras such as keyword alerts to filter requests and early notification on opportunities that are a good fit for you. 

Cons

Many of the requests are for US-based publications

You will get a LOT of emails. However, if you want great media exposure, this is a small price to pay: you can always redirect them to a specific folder in your inbox.

Cost

From free to $149 a month.

Gorkana

 

The Gorkana media enquiry service works in a similar way to Response Source. Subscribers to this service receive requests from journalists for case studies, experts and article ideas (by email). 

Pros

Subscribers can opt to only receive email requests that are relevant to them.

Cons

No set price list available. "We offer a cost effective solution and the fee structure is determined by the services required,” is all we could glean.

Cost:

unknown

 

Source Bottle

 

This media enquiry works in a similar way to Response Source and Gorkana i.e. subscribers are sent relevant media opportunities by email.

Pros

Subscribers can choose which countries they receive requests from (including the UK, USA and Australia) - which is useful if your business only operates in certain areas. You can also opt to receive request on specific topics, so you're not overwhelmed by irrelevant queries.

Upgrade for $25 per month (GST inc) and Sourcebottle will match your profile to media requests - and pitch to the journalists who post them on your behalf, which could save you lots of time.

Cons

Many of the requests are for Australian publications (where the service was set up) so might not be suitable if you want USA/UK coverage.

Costs:

Free -$25 per month

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Ace Media

 

A relative newcomer on the scene, Ace Media seems to be aimed at businesses keen to get into product round-ups (e.g. gift guides and fashion pages) features and similar types of editorial. There is an image gallery where businesses can post pictures of their products (searchable by journalists) which is also handy.

Pros

There is a free seven-day trial available and prices start from £20 a month, with no contract or minimum term. Ace Media seems to be much more small business friendly than some of the other services.

Ace Media also offers Influencer Outreach, which might appeal if you also want to collaborate with or be featured by influential bloggers.

Cons

Possibly only suited to those in lifestyle/fashion/beauty sectors, although this is obviously a positive point as well as a drawback. Mainly British.

Costs:

Free to £60 per month

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JornoLink

 

JournoLink has more of a focus on business sector publications and press release distribution (although subscribers do get media enquiries from journalists via email). It also has a calendar of events you can use to create PR opportunities for your business. Other features include a PR Toolkit with online guides to giving media interviews, writing more effective press releases, dealing with journalists and other useful information. 

Pros

There is 30-day free trial. Small business friendly.

Cons

Heavy focus on business publications (rather than consumer).

Costs:

From £25 per month (£200 for a year)

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