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The Best Time to Distribute and Publish Your Press Release

In previous blog entries, we’ve been talking about different aspects and stages of creating press release, from basic requirements and useful tips to composing relevant ideas and emailing press releases to journalists.

Press releases should really be seen as an art form. There are many various aspects and different stages involved in creating a strong press release that you first need to consider, from getting the title right or using an appropriate tone to how to use quotes. You'll find plenty of tips and advice elsewhere on the site to help you perfect your writing of press releases.

There can be no doubt that the news hook and story writing are crucial if you want your press release to be successful - but there are other important things to consider. You need to consider what the best time to send a press release is and whether there is a best day to send a press release too.

Why is this so important? Well, the aim of your press release is for it to get noticed by news media. That's no mean feat because journalists' inboxes are busy, busy places! This is why scheduling and planning is so important because if you start sending a press release out at the wrong time, there really is no chance of success.

Trying to establish the 'optimum time' for when to send a press release is a complex issue. There are lots of things to consider: the industry or market you are in and where you are in the world to name just two key things. But let's look at whether there is such a thing as the 'perfect day' or a 'perfect time' to hit the 'Send' button.

The 24/7 world and globalisation

Firstly, a word or two on globalisation. As you will be well aware, the internet has absolutely transformed and revolutionised the way we do things. The world, massive as it is, is really now (as the saying goes) 'a global village'. We are far more connected than ever before and the idea of a freelancer from Manchester, England having a virtual assistant working for them who is in Mumbai, India - which would've appeared ridiculous a few years ago - is now just the way that a lot of people work.

And with technology comes the opportunity to work remotely. With a laptop and an internet connection people can work everywhere. The 'office' as we used to know it is no longer a necessity. We don't have to physically be there anymore.

Why is this relevant to advice about how to submit a press release? Well, the thing is although the world of work has changed massively in recent years - in many ways we haven't changed that much. Media newsrooms will be staffed 24 hours a day, but still the vast majority of people employed in the media industry work during the day and still follow typical office hours - wherever they might be in the world. Bear that in mind when you thinking of time zones!

The best day... and the worst

There were will always be exceptions to every rule, but as a general rule looking at the research available, the best days of the week to send a press release are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Why? Well, there is plenty of research and data out there to look at. Take a month's publication data from a big player such as MarketWired, as Shift Communications did and you notice a trend emerging. Monday is a very popular day for sending a press release. That much is obvious as it's the start of the working week for most, but as it's so obvious many will hang fire until Tuesday, figuring that you have more chance of being picked up then. Wednesday and Thursday also look like good days for sending a press release.

Friday data tends to be a lot lower and it is comparatively non-existent over the weekend. But does this mean that Friday, Saturday and Sunday would be good times to send, because they are so much quieter?

Well, possibly. What is known as 'counter-cyclicality' might just work. In a 24/7 world, sending a press release on a quieter day and during 'off' hours might get your piece noticed. It's certainly worth a try!

Monday is always going to be popular. Friday is quieter as people are naturally winding down for the weekend. This makes Tuesday-Thursday the best days to send a press release.

The best time... and the worst

According to research from Prowly, it would seem that they tend to agree with the idea that Tuesday-Thursday are the best days to target. They plump for Thursday as the best day, as 21% of emails are opened by journalists on that day - the highest rate of the week.

That's an important thing to remember - overall other studies show that Tuesday might see more press releases being sent, but that isn't the metric that matters - the open rate does.

Prowly's study also shows a clear winner in terms of the best time to send a press release. It is definitely 10.00am-2.00pm with a massive 45% of emails opened, compared with just 17% for later in the afternoon and 26% earlier in the morning. Again, more emails will be sent early in the morning, but this just means that more will remain unopened!

As an aside, anybody thinking of testing out the counter-cyclical approach might want to look at the data for open rates between 2.00am and 6.00am - just 1.7%!

Key takeaways

This is far from being an exact and perfect answer but the best time of the day to send a press release is 10.00am to 2.00pm. Tuesday to Thursday are the best days.

However, the best strategy is really just to try things out and experiment. Use the above as a guide - this is what all the research points to as being the best time and day to send a press release - but don't be afraid to throw in the odd curveball every now and then. You never know. It might just work!

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