Strategically Timing Press Releases

We often get the question from clients, “When is the best day/time to distribute this press release in order to get the most attention?” And while our answer generally depends on a mix of experience coupled with the intent of the specific release in question, PR.co decided to put conventional wisdom to the test with their study, “What can we learn from 50,000 press releases?” They compiled their results in a handy infographic, which was recently highlighted on Ragan’s PR Daily.

Key takeaways include:

  • 53 percent of all press releases are published Tuesday-Thursday.
  • 16 percent of press releases are published on Monday.
  • 61 percent of readers view press releases in the first four days of the week (Monday-Thursday).
  • Less than 1 out of 5 press releases are published over the weekend. However, 25 percent of total press release views happened on Saturday and Sunday.

While ultimately, your distribution timing should depend on your target audience and your goals with the release (media attention, click-throughs, SEO, etc.), the above supports the prevailing practice of putting releases out Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. However, it also makes Saturday, Sunday and Monday seem like potentially appealing options since a significant percentage of readers are viewing releases on those days. With this in mind, why not distribute your release when fewer releases are going out (thus resulting in less competition for eyeballs)?

Finally, while it comes as no surprise, PR.co’s research also drives home an important point in PR, one that often generates complaints from reporters when PR people don’t follow it – and that is the importance of customizing pitches vs. sending releases out with a mass distribution email. As you might expect, customization was found to be more cost-effective, result in connections with the right contacts, and help build relationships with (rather than annoy) reporters.

Ultimately, if you work with a reporter who you know likes to check emails at 10 pm ET on Fridays, by all means, send him/her a personalized email with your release then, even if it goes against “conventional” wisdom. Otherwise, the above stats can be a helpful guide when planning press release distribution/pitch timing.

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