Paid Press Release Distribution Services / Unethical Public Relations Practices
I am the owner of a PR firm in the Greater New York area. I am reporting this business (PressReleasePing) for unethical public relations practices relating to paid press release distribution services they offer. They charge their users for their services, which claims to publish customer press releases to 70+ free press release services for a fee. One of those free press release sites is ours, located at http://gnosisarts.com/home/Free_Press_Releases). The problem is: they utilize our free press release site for distribution (as well as others), without our permission, and then charge their customers for it! What's worse, a standard relationship like this would mean we were a channel partner of theirs, and they would pay us at least a small percentage of their revenues. Or at worst, give us credit and proper attribution as one of their content distributors, somewhere on their site. They do neither, neither sharing any revenues with us, getting permission to utilize our site in this way, nor giving proper credit to us in the way we might like.
It took us a while to catch them in the act, and to figure out what they were doing. We have unknowingly published many of their press releases to our newsroom, where those press release have enjoyed the benefits of Google News Inclusion because ours is an Approved Google News Site. Theirs isn't. So, we had been unwittingly benefiting their business, despite the fact that they are technically a competitor of ours!
Once we found out who they were and how they operate, our operations chief immediately blocked access to our newsroom to them. However, they didn't stop there. They utilized different IP addresses and different email addresses to get around our firewalls. We had to actually block them two or three different times in order to stop them from utilizing our service.
We think this is an unethical business practice, not to mention directly hurting our own business and the press release syndication market as a whole.
Eric Bryant, Director
Gnosis Media Group
22 Ray Court
Bedminster, NJ, 07921