When is the best day and time to send a press release? At PRunderground.com, we get this question a lot. But to answer that, first we must look at the audience of an online press release. It’s no longer eager newsrooms in the media looking for an idea. Thanks to search engines like Google, there are two audiences. First we have regular searchers of a topic area using keywords that lead to finding your press release. This is actually the vast majority of press release readers and is made up of potential customers, users, partners, investors, employees etc interested in a topic. You are actually reaching them directly rather than going through the press. Secondly we have journalists and researchers, typically searching a subject area in Google (and Google News) for a story they are already working on.
In the old days, pre-internet, newsrooms and editors might continually scan the newswires to see what comes in. In the last 20 years however, news is old news by the time it hits the wire for a writer/editor. Writers are looking for scoops before it is generally available information. (The exception is material news for publicly traded companies, where the news is embargoed until the press release hits the wire). But for regular businesses, press releases have become more about a general online presence in Google and Google News in your niche rather than a way to pitch a writer or editor. So please don’t spam writers and editors with your press release, and avoid services who offer this. Pitching a writer is a whole other (very important) endeavor that requires a personalized email. (SEE PR Fundamentals: Distributing a Press Release versus Pitching the Press).
OK, so knowing something about press release audiences, what is a good day to distribute a press release online? The reality is that press release distribution services like ours build distribution partnerships with news websites that agree to pick up and publish press releases. So if you send it at 3am Saturday night or Tuesday at 9am, the same news sites will pick it up. However, the press release also feeds into Google News and Google typically within the hour and gets pushed down as new news and content is picked up in Google. So in general we tell people to think about when their ideal end reader of the press release will be online. If you are trying to reach a business customer/partner/investor, this generally is going to reach more readers Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday between 10am-2pm in the appropriate time zone. If you are trying to reach a consumer customer, think about when that person might be searching Google. For example, a restaurant press release might do better Wednesday/Thursday/Friday afternoons as people plan their weekends. And we have seen a football related press release do best on Saturday and Sunday mornings ahead of the week’s games. So think about when your business or consumer audience might be searching for a product or service like yours, and publish it about an hour prior to that.
Ideal Times To Send: This depends on your target press release reader
- A Business Person– Try Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday between 10am-2pm local time. People have cleared their morning inbox and are not about to head home from work during this window.
- A Consumer – Depends on the product or service, but noon-4pm are good times in general Wednesday/Thursday/Friday. People have finished a lot of their daily work and may be on the web/phone during lunch or the early afternoon during this window.
And don’t forget to personally craft an individual pitch to a select list of writers before issuing a press release if you have something really newsworthy.