The best time to send a press release

A study of 100,000+ press releases reveals that there’s no evidence for the belief that there’s a best time of day and day of the week to send press releases. Success depends on something else.

In early 2013, Shift Communications published a blog post sharing the worst times and days to send press releases.

More than two years later, that blog post is one of the most highly trafficked pages on Shift’s website.

Why?

When you should—or shouldn’t—send press releases over the wire is a popular topic.

We found that Monday, Tuesday and 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern were the most popular times to send a press release. Our advice was to publish releases later in the day and week so your news didn’t get lost in the commotion. Remember, all this is from 2013.

This year, we took our research a step further. First, we analyzed the distribution of more than 100,000 press releases published via Marketwired, PRWeb and PR Newswire in 2015. Second, we determined how many times each release was shared across nine social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

In 2015, Tuesday is generally the most popular day to publish a release, followed closely by Wednesday.


Regarding timing, most often, 9 a.m. Eastern held the top spot, followed by 8 p.m. Eastern.


Here’s where it gets interesting: In 2015, the average press release was shared only 18 times. Below, you can see how that stacks up. The gray boxes represent the average releases, and the white boxes represent outliers.


These outliers denote press releases worth engaging with, reading and sharing. The top 10 most shared press releases represent 14 percent of total social media shares. That means 0.009 percent of all releases got 14 percent of total shares.


The chart above shows just how large the disparity is between the top 10 press releases and the rest of the press-release population. The top 10 press releases did something right—they shared news that was interesting enough to elicit a response from the brands’ audiences.

We’ve learned a thing or two in the past two years. It is no longer enough to try to get your press release in front of the right journalist by sending it at the right time; it’s about creating content your audience cares enough about to share.

Tori Sabourin is a marketing analyst at Shift Communications. A version of this article originally appeared on the Shift Communications blog.

Topics: PR

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