When’s the Best Time to Send A Press Release?

New Rules Challenge Conventional Wisdom

One of the most frequently asked questions we get at EON Enhanced Online News and Business Wire is “When’s the best time to send a press release?”

While any answer is preceded by the disclaimer “That depends…,” we’ve counseled clients for decades to send their press releases “early in the day, early in the week.”   Fridays were once considered a bad day to send press releases, presumably because reporters and others were skipping out for the weekend and wouldn’t see your copy.    And for years we’ve told clients that embargoes are made to be broken.

But as Bill Maher says, maybe its time for New Rules.   An informal survey of clients and colleagues suggests that in a global, 24-hour, everyday news and information cycle, adherence to calendars and clocks is relative.

One corporate communications pro at a large, public company told me her strategy for maximum bang was to send a release on Sunday to key reporters with an embargo which they must agree to honor or they don’t receive the release.  “The combination of stories that hit at the same time the release is generally distributed increases awareness of the story, and likewise, increases pick-up by other outlets that day and often, into a second news cycle,”  she said.  Clever.

Alan Weinkranz, a tech PR pro who maintains a robust blog and who works frequently in Israel where the work week is Sunday – Thursday, suggested we be mindful of national and religious holidays in other countries.   He added that in practical terms, timing often matters less than it once did since these days, since “it’s not about the coverage, it’s about the conversation.”

What do you think?  When IS the best time to send a press release?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

Want more?  Listen to When’s the Best Time to Send a Press Release? addressed in the All Things Press Release podcast,  below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe in iTunes.

You can also take a look at another post from us on this topic, Use Google Trends to Find the Best Time to Send Your Press Release.

16 Responses to When’s the Best Time to Send A Press Release?

  1. Much also depends on what type of news you are releasing.

    Got a huge lay-off or bad earnings? I vote for Fridays.
    Major announcement prior to a huge tradeshow? Maybe the day before the event
    We also send many of our releases under embargo before the news go live so we can make editorial deadlines.

  2. Mondays. Mondays are excellent. Preferably just after your primary targets’ lunch time. For much of the world, Mondays signal the start of a week, the beginning of another cycle.

    Closest to the “right” answer: Alan Weinkranz – it is about the conversation. Therefore, it depends on the context and focus of your news releases, yes? Size matters. If you are sending out news of importance to, say, financial communities, then a more global approach is indicated. Timing may very well matter, such as sending out an earnings report after the market closes.

    On the other hand – and closer to home – very often the PR release is about something of relatively narrow interest to a specific group of people. Here’s where it is very, very good to establish a conversation with key editors, etc. Then the timing of the release is controllable and the results measurable. This requires a fair amount of bandwidth, true, but the rewards can be considerable.

  3. Jim Brumm says:

    From the reporter’s viewpoint … if it is material news, as defined by the SEC, do not embargo the release. I do not want to be an insider — again, as per the SEC.
    As for a Sunday send to select reporters. That’s dangerous. If those select reporters are like me, by the time I get to work Monday my Inbox is so full of weekend and once a week Monday morning emails that it may take me until Tuesday to get back to a Sunday release.
    While trade press deadlines often require an embargoed release, make sure the embargo does not extend byond the actual publication in the trade press. As a news service reporter, there’s nothing that leaves a bad taste in my mouth more than getting beat because someone else got a break on the release date. Above all else, don’t tell me how important the release you’re handing me — in person or via email — is when it is already public somewhere else.

  4. Bill Perry says:

    We’re a public company with offices on four continents, so timing news releases is a juggling act for me and my team around the world. If the news is material and, say, concerns our office in Beijing, then I’ll distribute a news release in the U.S. at 3:30 a.m. (New York), so reporters in Beijing (our primary target) can have the news at 3:30 p.m. (Beijing) the same day. That gives Chinese media enough time to file a story on the web the same day, or hit their print deadlines for the next day. We, of course, distribute the news release in Chinese (simplified and Mandarin).

    For news that has a U.S. angle, we generally follow only one rule of thumb: Get it out in the U.S. before the markets open. Tactically speaking, we ask that the release move a few minutes after the hour, for example, 7:03 a.m. ET or 7:33 a.m. ET. A lot of folks tend to move their releases at the top and bottom of the hour, which creates a surge of news to look at.

  5. Ed Bride says:

    While Friday is a good day for bad news, it can also be a secret weapon if the target is weekly publications. For the weeklies, I avoid Wednesday and Thursday like the plague, as writers have finished their research and are on deadline. Basically, their work week is Friday to Thursday. So, guess what? “Early in the week” means Friday, for the weekly. Their slate is clean, and if they’re at work, I can’t think of a better day than Friday.

    Tuesday ranks second. Monday…a tough sell, given what others have posted about weekend mail traffic.

  6. With regard to international distribution, I think these three links should be bookmarked by anyone responsible for moving news in overseas markets:

    http://www.timeanddate.com/

    http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

    http://www.bank-holidays.com/index.htm

    Another tip I’d pass along (I work in BW’s International Media Relations Dept.), and something that’s overlooked by far too many people, is the need to allow for time to properly translate news releases when sending abroad. Too often I see people getting antsy to get something out at the expense of the quality of the translation. Proper translation takes time – generally 8 to 48 hours (depending on the size of the release, the terminology of a release and the desired language). Avoid “rushing” translations at all costs because it will only hurt you in the long run.

  7. [...] When’s the best time to send out a press release? (BusinessWired) [...]

  8. Time is Money: The Best Times to Do Everything (100 Tricks & Tips) | Online Degrees says:

    [...] Send a press release: Most marketers send press releases early in the day early in the week, but some argue that Friday and Sunday works well. [...]

  9. Thanks for the information. I felt Sunday was the best day since slow business news with less competition. Always good to get others opinions.

  10. [...] to know when is the best time to send my release? In fact, one of our most popular blog posts took this question on three years [...]

  11. Abhik says:

    Hi,

    I was wondering, is there any significance when you send a press release IF the main objective is for seo purposes.
    Thanks

  12. If SEO is your main objective, you probably want your press release to generate as many links as possible. A well timed press release has a better chance of accomplishing just that!

  13. [...] The data reinforces our longstanding advice on the topic.  For decades we’ve told  clients that the best time to send  a press release  is “early in the day, early in the [...]

  14. pozycjonowanie…

    [...]When’s the Best Time to Send A Press Release? « BusinessWired – Business Wire Blog[...]…

  15. [...] the holidays. Generally, the advice is that earlier in the week is better, but the holidays can shake up schedules and reorganize routines. US markets (and many others) are [...]

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