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Five sites to help you get noticed and circulate your message, your music and your press releases to a much wider media marketplace than ever before.

One of the most time-consuming and expensive aspects of running a record label is the activity of getting noticed. Writing and sending out press releases, and putting promo discs in envelopes is a significant proportion of workflow and budget — even if you’ve managed to farm it off to your team of work experience kids.

I am not going to suggest that you stop doing this (though there are, apparently, New Rules of PR that you may want to investigate) — but rather I would like to draw your attention to a few additional ways of getting your message out that are free, or easy, or at the very least provide a good return on your additional investment in time.

1) Free Press Release Distribution
Once posted, your message will be visible to thousands of editors immediately.

2) PR Free
Offers distributions to the Web’s top news websites and services such as Google News, Topix, News Blaze, Lycos News, Excite News, Yahoo! Search, Eworldwire, Associated Press, Reuters, UPI – even chief journalists in a specific geographic location.

3) PR Leap
PR Leap is the will send your news release(s) to all major search engines, newswires, and websites. Basic accounts are free.

4) Pressbox
Pressbox is a free, UK-based PR distribution service that seems to be a cut above the rest.

5) Radio Direct X
Different from the other PR sites, Radio Direct X puts your music in front of over 5000 music media organisations around the world — predominantly (though not exclusively) radio stations. For a smallish fee, Radio Direct X will connect you with the outlets most likely to be interested in your music, and you need only send out CDs as those media outlets specifically request them. It’s a very targetted and effective method of reaching a wider, global market.