My fiance's digital marketing firm gets their client's in Google News by submitting press releases to high-end outlets- seems to be the most dependable way to get in GNews these days. Sometimes you will see a site selling the ability to get people's stories included into G News, sometimes it's legit & niche, sometimes it's a spammy loophole.
Distribution services will range from spam to muy caro. You want to make sure they are distributing via PRNewswire. Some will allow video embeds, live links - some won't, but it's usually an upcharge.
Also you will see cheap PR
services, and the reason their cheap is their release or content is not aces if you know what I mean (outsourced). The difference in price you pay is for 2 things: the quality of the content (which is important if you're targeting journalists/writers for follow up stories) and the outlets it's distributed to. If all you want is diversity press links than that's another story - but in the end you get what you pay for.
Also be sure to look within niches, you can find distributors that have niche lists to send the Press Release out to in addition to the main wires.
Size is 400-600 words + boilerplate, usually an upcharge of $100-$150 per extra 100 words.
Sites won't always keep hosting the press-release, so you will get drop-offs starting around month 2. It's helpful to comment on the press-releases to elucidate more on the story and maybe leave a helpful comment link at the bottom.
Best time to distribute is 6am, right before journalists and bloggers are getting their list of leads & emails for the day - so yours is on top. Tuesday is also a better release day than Monday, Friday being the worse.
Also don't use real keywords for your anchor text for your links, or your anchor text footprint will be skewed and look very much like spam (because all these news sites pick up and host the press release copying the same links and anchor text).
Follow up with journalists for your press release can be variable depending on your niche. Also, editors and writers for sites/mags/blogs are getting laid off left and right because sites are going to user-contributed content, so pitching someone specific might not work because people get shuffled around, be prepared to contact 2-4 people at a give outlet to find the person you need to talk to. And even then it will take just as many follow ups as it does to close a normal exclusive insurance lead (journalists are no different). Also bee prepared to follow up for weeks and months because writers and editors are super busy and are juggling not only the distribution of content for that month, but writing, editing, and planning for stories 3-6 months out ahead of time.
It helps to shadow the journalists on social media before you press release goes out if you know the niche and sites that you want to target for a follow-up story to the press release.