When Should You Send a Press Release?

when to send a press releaseBy Samuel Scott

In today’s holistic, integrated marketing-climate, a press release can now serve many more purposes than just getting a busy New York Times reporter to return your calls, tweets, and/or e-mails. Online press-releases can improve SEO by indirectly building backlinks via quality coverage, and sending them through social-media outlets can spread a company’s branding as well. And these are just two of the additional uses.

Still, there are different tactics to remember in order to maximize the effectiveness of an online press-release. In a recent Hubspot webinar entitled “The Science of PR,” the company’s social-media scientist, Dan Zarrella, and PR Newswire’s VP of Social Media, Sarah Skerik, presented valuable data then will tell you when and how to publish online press releases for various purposes.

First, a summary of the data:

  • To maximize the total number of online press-release views, publish and send it on Saturday or Sunday, at around midnight or 1 a.m. in the morning, with a headline of 30 to 120 characters (including spaces), with a photo and video, and with digits in the headline, if possible (“Widgets, Inc., Hires 500 More People”).
  • To increase the number of engagements (social-media shares, downloads, conversions through a call to action, etc.), publish and send it on Sunday or Monday, at around midnight or 1 a.m. in the morning, with a headline of 30 to 120 characters (including spaces), with a photo but not a video, and with digits in the headline, if possible.
  • To improve the total number of website postings, publish and send it on any day except the weekend or Wednesday, at any time of day, with a headline of 30 to 50 characters (including spaces), and with a photo and video.
  • To help to increase the total number of views by journalists, publish and send it on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, between midnight and 2 a.m. or at around 7 p.m., with a headline of 30 to 50 characters (including spaces), with a photo and video, and with digits in the headline, if possible.
  • To be indexed quickly by search engines, publish and send it on Saturday or Sunday, between 10 p.m. and midnight, with a headline of 30 to 200 characters (including spaces), with a photo and video, and with digits in the headline, if possible.
  • To maximize the number of Facebook shares, publish and send it on Saturday, Sunday, or Thursday, just after 6 p.m., with a headline of 30 to 50 characters (including spaces), and with a photo and video.

As we at The Cline Group like to say, it is a must to align your marketing strategy with your business goals. Online press-releases, for example, may or may not be one of the marketing methods that will be suited to help your business strategy.

Still, the process goes one step further. If you determine that online press-releases will be effective marketing tools, then you need to decide how to use them. As you can see above, the “how” will depend on your marketing goals. Will they include maximizing the number of views among people in general (perhaps for overall branding), getting the most attention from reporters (perhaps to target a niche sector), obtaining more backlinks (to help your SEO), or having people convert through calls to action (perhaps to build a list of leads and prospects)? Perhaps some or all of the above?

How and when to use online-press releases are questions that are just as important as whether to use them. After all, a good strategy that uses bad tactics will ultimately fail!

Samuel Scott is Senior Director of SEO & Digital Marketing for The Cline Group. You see more of his thoughts on TwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Scott’s personal website is here, and he is a contributor to Moz.


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