The Value of a Press Release Is (Apparently) Five Dollars

Since it’s a (week)day, it might just be time for yet another post on the value of the press release.

This morning Derek DeVries, senior associate at Lambert, Edwards and Associates, noticed this promoted post on Facebook:

ICYMI, Fiverr is the startup that promises to help you do anything for the not-at-all arbitrary price of $5.

The list of tasks included under that flimsy umbrella just happens to include a big category for “find public relations professionals,” all of whom seem eager to compose said releases for the stated fee.

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Here’s a good example of a service provider, which tells us that its team of “professional journalists” will churn out 100 words in two days for $5 and turn that word count up to 400 for…four times the price. “Distribution can include” the usual suspects: Google News, Bing, The Boston Globe, PR Newswire, etc.

FWIW, the user reviews on this service seem to be pretty good. Take that with the appropriately sized grain of salt.

Coincidentally, this week also saw the publication of an Entrepreneur op-ed by John Pilmer of PilmerPR, who calls the release “the cornerstone” of the industry even in this digital age. PR Newswire comms VP Sarah Skerik agrees, with a slight caveat:

Jason Kintzler of PitchEngine, who spoke to us about the press release’s “latest makeover” back in August, shared his thoughts on the Fiverr promo, which he suspects might just serve as a gateway to future “Win a Free iPad!!” marketing messages:

“I love it. It’s not even 40% about writing anymore. Today, PR better be about relevance first and craft second. A killer tweet will beat an epic narrative all day long.”

We’d like to think that a “professionally written” and “newsworthy” release is worth more than five bucks since it would be tough to write, say, six of them each hour. But what do we know?

Maybe we should just follow the AP’s lead and welcome our new automated overlords.