The marketing software firm, Hubspot teamed with PR Newswire recently to look at the hard numbers on the best time to distribute a press release. The results were surprising and bucked traditional notions of when and how to circulate a press release for maximum effect.
The Metrics Behind Successful Press Releases:
First, know your objective. Is your press release part of your search engine marketing (SEM) strategy or do you want live views and social shares? The timing tactics are very different for syndication versus live views. The tactics of a public global company will also be different than a private company based on financial market hours. Here are a few quick takeaways:
Timing a Press Release
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the busiest days for press releases so if you want live views you’re better off avoiding the deluge. Wednesday is the worst day for live views. Saturday and Sunday are the best. Views from registered media were highest Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Distributing a press release at 12:00 or 1:00 AM yielded up to triple the views of any other time. That timing applies to blog posts as well.
The best days for Facebook shares are Friday and Saturday late in the day. Saturday and Sunday were also the most spider-friendly days.
Press Release Headlines
In addition to crafting a double-take headline, keep the length around 120 to 130 characters – tweet length plus room for the @RT and a word or two. Place your key words at the beginning of your title for SEO purposes.
Press Releases and Photos/Video
Whether you’re after syndication or live views, including a photo has a major effect on the success of a release with up to two-thirds more views.
Video was a mixed bag. For live views, video was about half as effective as photos and according to the Hubspot analysis it ranked low on the “Engagement Index” (EI) Though not practical for office hours, video can lead to a stickier message and it was shown to yield good open rates among registered media. Video may be most effective in weekend releases after midnight when the registered media appear to be headline surfing, hopefully with a nice glass of Malbec.
Timing Your Press Release for Syndication
The best days for syndication are Monday, Thursday and Friday. Press releases with photos are picked up most often.
So when is the best time to distribute a press release? It depends, but be sure to include a photo even if it’s just a logo.
The bottom line? What worked before doesn’t necessarily work now and what works now won’t necessarily work in the future so shake it up and check the metrics.
Photo credit: George Boyce