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PR Hints:- When's the Best Day to Issue a Press Release?

Article published February 4, 2002 - updated February 12, 2008

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Why Batching Up Press Releases is a Bad Idea for the Web
Press Release FAQ's - How to write them, where to distribute them etc
Why I won't publish your press release? - Common errors I see every day
You've got a press release all ready to go...

so when should you release it to get the best effect?
This note is written from my perspective as editor of STORAGEsearch, and the details may differ for other publications. But for what it's worth, here are my thoughts on this subject.

Our publications are real-time, which means we process incoming email data every couple of minutes during office hours, and aim to have zero news backlog at the end of the working day. "Processing" in this context, means updating all the related directory listings which are affected by a news item, not just running it on the news page. So if a company launches a new iSCSI product, or is acquired by another company, then the iSCSI directory or the acquired companies page is also updated when the news item is posted.

Monday morning (UK time, i.e. about 5 hours ahead of EST) is when there is least news input at this end. And because we list news items in reverse release date order (newest first, oldest last) a press release dated Monday, which we get on Monday morning stands a good chance of being used. By the afternoon, the new news stories are flooding in like on any other day. So 5 or 6 hours can make a difference. But you don't have to get up at 2 A.M. to take advantage of this phenomenom. Write the press release on Friday, and send it with a Monday embargo.

The busiest day, in terms of readership varies according to the web site. On ACSL's web sites, readership on the busiest day is typically 2x to 3x as high as on the least busy day. Here are examples taken from our statistics in the first 6 weeks of 2008.

STORAGEsearch - Highest pageviews on Monday. Lowest on Saturday.

SPARC Product Directory - Highest pageviews on Friday. Lowest on Wednesday.

In the real world you have to synchonise your own press releases with other promotion activities such as events, and not just to get the best match a portal. But make sure your own web site lists your news story. I give better visibility to news stories which I can link to directly, so that readers can get more information with a single click. I always look at the original company's web site to see if I can do this. On the other hand if I find that your web site was running the news story 2 or 3 days (or weeks) before the date in your email release, then I treat the oldest date as the release date, and it might not feature at all, because of our news ageing cutoff policy.

While we're on the subject when's the best time of year to send your release?

Well, the worst time of year is Christmas when our readers are more interested in holiday pursuits than buying SPARC servers or network storage. That's typical for B2B portals. But you would see a different pattern for consumer websites.

If you're a UK company, the best time of year to issue press releases to UK publications are when there's a public holiday in the US, such as Independence Day or Thanksgiving. On those days your news will not be competing with hundreds of other stories from the US, and has a higher probability of being used. Our own publications are US focused so I take US public holidays off.
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Terrorbyte wanted to publish his autobiography. He knew Megabyte was an editor of some publication or other so he took him out to lunch and asked for his advice. Megabyte replied...

"If you want to write about what you get up to when you find a young couple whose car has broken down outside your scary castle in Transylvania on a dark stormy night, you'll need to send it somewhere else... Maybe you'd better call it a work of fiction" he added. "That will avoid trouble with the police... and make it easier to find a publisher. I only publish scary stories about computer storage. If you ever write one of those I'll be happy to consider it."

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