Timing is Everything When Distributing Press Releases

When your company has exciting news to share, you may utilize press releases to spread the word. Carefully crafted and meticulously edited releases are an effective way to alert your community, your industry, and your world to your newest product, your recent hire, or your latest award. However, no matter how well it’s written or how exciting the news is, bad timing can affect which and how many outlets pick up the release. You will want to take into account how many days or weeks before or after an event to release the news. In addition, you’ll need to carefully choose which day of the week and which hours of the day are the most favorable for wide consideration.

When to Release Event News

Depending on the type of event, guidelines vary as far as how quickly before or after an event to announce the big news. If your budget allows, you may consider enlisting the help of press release distribution services to take all of the guesswork out of timing. These professionals can maximize your exposure and provide the best opportunities for your releases to be picked up by the most outlets.

In general, if your business is launching a new product, experts recommend sending a release out one to two weeks before the product hits the market. This can generate buzz and anticipation ahead of the launch. If your product is a new book, the guidelines suggest alerting the media up to four weeks in advance of availability. A three-week lead time is also a good rule of thumb for alerting the media to an upcoming event. This allows industry and community members time to mark their calendars.

If your company receives an award, distribute the press release as soon as possible. In fact, if you know that your organization is up for consideration for an award, have the release ready before they announce the winner. It can’t hurt to be prepared. For mergers and acquisitions, release the news as soon as the deal is official. Similarly, announce exciting new talent hires as soon as the person officially starts. If you have exciting news that you feel will significantly raise your company’s stature in the industry or market value, consider hiring an expert to time the release perfectly.

Which Days and Hours are Best

Certain days of the week are better for distributing press releases. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are the prime weekdays to consider when trying to entice outlets to pick up your news. While the news cycle runs seven days a week, it’s still advisable to avoid weekends or public holidays. Depending on the topic, journalists and outlets may be much more likely to skip your release if it appears on Saturday or Sunday.

Response rates can also suffer if your release appears during particular hours of the day. In general, experts suggest sending a release in the late morning or early afternoon.  Pitching anything in the late afternoon or evening is less likely to garner a response. You’ll want to note journalist and media outlet locations before sending so that you can take into account varying time zones.

Track Your Success

If certain releases are picked up more than others, investigate why. Look at who picked up the release and when you sent it. By knowing which journalists and outlets are more likely to respond on certain days or at certain times, you can time future releases favorably. Don’t hesitate to throw out the guidelines if you encounter an outlet that prefers receiving releases at a time that doesn’t normally work for others.

This investigative work can prove very useful. Unfortunately, the knowledge gained can only come from experience. Don’t be discouraged if some of your early releases don’t fare well. If you are diligent about tracking, you can improve your results.

The topic of a press release should generally drive the decision of when to distribute it. There isn’t one rule or guideline that governs these decisions because each event is different and requires specialized treatment. Remember that the timing can seriously affect the number of outlets that pick up the release and make decisions accordingly. A well-crafted release can be wasted when it’s received by the media at the wrong time.