“It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.”
These are the words of Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue Magazine. They hold true for press releases too, where the timing of your story is everything.
It’s Friday, the clock shows 3:00PM. and you finally finished the press release that you’ve worked on for quite some time. You have a major news regarding to your organization, and you’ve spend time perfecting the piece to where it is now.
Now, the problem is you’re halfway through Friday, and you know that the chances of PR professionals reading your email is low.
So, what is the best time to send a press release?
This is a frequently asked question in today’s PR and online marketing world. It might sound silly, but the answer matters a great deal now that everyone is vying for attention. Even the most brilliant press release writers might be at a loss as to why their response rates are so low.
Was the writing poorly done? Not necessarily. The problem might be in distribution, particularly timing.
Questions To Consider Before You Get Started
The press release is here to stay. In fact, 81 percent of senior marketers believe that earned media is more effective than paid media. Press releases are a valuable PR tool and should not be regarded as an after-thought.
To develop a keen sense of when to submit a press release, you ought to ask yourselves a couple of simple questions:
1) When do editors check their emails?
2) When are editors too busy to give my work a chance?
3) How do I make sure that my email and press release land at the top of the editor’s inbox by the time they sit down to work?
4) How do these factors come into play when I decide when to release a press release?
In an ideal world – your press release should make the job of the journalist easier. Not inflict more stress on them. That is why it is important to schedule your press release accordingly. It’s important to think about the workflow. Most people check their email when they first arrive at work. So if your press release is in the digital pile (and near the top) in the morning, you have a better chance.
They are gatekeepers, deciding what gets covered and what is bypassed.
Today’s 24/7 news cycle moves at such a frantic pace that we are seeing reporters working crazy hours with releases going out at odd hours of the day. Journalists are like many other workers – they take time off on the weekends and holidays to see their families and friends – so certain times and days are best avoided.
The Best Time To Send A Press Release
When is the best time to send a press release? Well, because the specific question has numerous variables such as content, timeliness, audience and media source, there is no exact answer.
Still, between 8:00AM to 9:00AM tends to be the most popular time send a press release as click-throughs occur more during that period of time. The next popular times are 10:00AM to 2:00PM. People are either just beginning or ending their work day and have more time to deal with press releases, both reading and sending them.
Want an optimal solution?
How about trying 8.23AM instead of typical times like 8:00AM, 9:00AM or 10:00AM? Everyone typically sends out their press releases on the hour, causing a flood of news to hit all at once – not only on wire services, but on social channels and through emails too. That can be overwhelming for anyone actually searching for something meaningful. So, by submitting press release on a slightly “off” time, you may have greater chance of cutting through the noise!
Because editors and journalists these days are constantly connected, the timing of your press release is becoming less important that it used to be. Media can access their emails and social networking accounts 24/7 – if they want to.
Best Days Of The Week
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – all a good bet, and in that order of preference! You want your announcement to cut through the noise and be distributed at a time when it’s likely to get noticed by the media; so obviously, weekends are out.
Mondays and Fridays are generally avoided too, since the start of the week is too hectic, with everyone else wanting to be first in that week’s news cycle, and the end of the week is spent wrapping up other news items or thinking about what’s planned for the weekend. So, that leaves Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays!
One thing to remember is that most people work all the time. In the modern technology age, the concept of a work and life balance is practically nonexistent. Access to information, including press release, is merely a matter of opening a browser on a mobile device or tablet.
So, When’s the Worst Time To Submit Press Release?
The fewest emails are sent from midnight to 6:00 AM because everyone is probably asleep (including PR writers and distributors). At 6 am, very early birds send their releases out in the hopes of getting ahead of other competitions.
The issue with this tactic is that at six, editors have probably just gotten up (or not), and are still preparing to get to work. By the time the clock strikes eight, there’ll be more than a hundred emails listed ahead of the particular press release. Hence, it won’t get noticed.
Try not to send press release too late into the evenings when everyone is about to go home to have their dinner. Depending on your audience geographically, make sure you’re catering to the correct time zones too.
Worst Days Of The Week
Avoid Mondays, avoid Fridays if you can. Usually Mondays are flooded with news which means that your press release may just disappear amongst the other barrage of announcements. Because of the influx of all types of communication on a Monday, working people have developed the habit of cleaning out their inbox on this day. So Monday’s not exactly the best day to send a press release.
The problem with Fridays is that most people are thinking “Thank Goodness!” TGIF. In their eagerness to end an exhausting week, basically everyone including editors are not too keen on going through a roster of releases.
Subsequently, Saturdays and Sundays makes it to the list of the least popular days to send in your press release. During the weekends, you have a much smaller crew working, so the chances of your press release going out fast may be vague.
Factor in holidays and vacations too when you figure out when to release a press release strategically. Of course, there are very slow days, and are among the worst days for press release engagement. For most type for businesses though, it is poor timing to send out PR:
- On three-day weekend holidays like 4th of July, Labour Day or Memorial Day weekend. Never go for long weekends when you pick a date to release a press release.
- During the Christmas week, particularly three days before Christmas Day
- A couple of days before the New Year and a day after
- Other major religious holidays in your country and abroad
So, even if you have a brilliantly written press release, your target is just not in the mood for it. Include international holidays in your calendar so you get instantly alerted as you decide when to release a press release.
Especially if you are targeting a global audience, you should be aware of time differences and special holidays. “What time is it in London?” What day is it in China?”. Deciding when to release a press release also involves studying business schedules in other regions and not just restricted to your home city.
A Quick Recap: Figuring the Best Time
The consideration when to send a press release has become an integral part of press release distribution especially now that competition is tough and audiences are global. If you don’t develop a keen sense when to release a press release, your well-written press release may never get the attention it deserves.
Assuming you do have some news of value, and have decided to go the release route, you’ll need to figure out the best day for yourself. Here are some suggestions that may help you figure out the best time to send your press release:
1. Know the news highs and lows of your industry
Figure out when everyone else is sending their news to journalists and send yours at a different day and time. Most people send their news for 7.00AM distribution on a Monday – how about 10.36AM? Better yet, 10.36 AM on a Thursday? If your news doesn’t have to be out there at a specific time, distribute it at off-peak hours to improve your chance of getting noticed.
2. If your news has to be out at a specific time
If your news has to be out there at a specific time, often due to financial regulations or other compliance requirements, you should know the “best” time to send out your press release.
3. Ask your wire service
If you use a wire service to distribute your news like MarketersMEDIA, ask your account manager which will be the best day to distribute your press release. Ask them in order to know what are the peak distribution times for your industry or geographic statement. Assess the information accurately and adapt your press release distribution for maximum results.
4. Holidays and other conflicts
Are there any big holidays coming up? Is there other seasonal news in your industry that will affect your press release pick up?
5. Use keywords
Do keyword research. Your press release is going to appear in dozens of places and international media points online. Select keywords that people are searching for. This minor stuff matters if you want to improve your pickup and get more ROI from your PR efforts.
6. Schedule tests of different times and days to discover the best results
Testing the time of the day and the day of the week to see what works best is extremely beneficial. It might come off as a surprise for some of you that on Fridays or Saturdays may be just as effective as a Thursday afternoon. You never know. It might work!
So, let’s go back to the top about you struggling away that Friday afternoon – what’s your answer?
The truth is, there is no time-tested, industry-wide “right” time to distribute a press release. But, depending on your desired targets, the type of news, whether it’s an event or announcement, the lead-time required by the outlet and so on. With that in mind, perhaps there may be a time and day that makes the most sense to you.
If you need your message to get noticed by the media and millions of online viewers out there, leveraging the top-notch partnerships of MarktersMEDIA can help you tell your story better and louder. In fact, your press releases can get exposure through their wide distribution network and coverage.
To top it off, MarketersMEDIA is currently running their Year-End Sale. Be sure to check it out before the offer ends!
Do you have a specific time on when you’ll send a press release? Do share with me your best and worst times in submitting your press releases! Let me know in the comment section below, I’d love to hear about your experiences.