Do you know the best time to send a press release? In this guide, we are going to break down when to send a press release. While plenty of factors will ultimately determine whether you can secure media coverage, it is crucial not to lose sight of the basics. Timing is everything.
When is the best time to send press release emails? Let’s dive straight in.
The Best Time To Send A Press Release
As journalists know that most press releases are sent in the morning, they plan their workday around it. For instance, journalists may drink their morning coffee while going through the day’s press releases to see what attracts their interest. 61% of journalists say morning is the best time to receive pitches, 30% say afternoon is best, and 9% say evening.
Research from Ragan found that the best time to send a press release is in the morning, between 7:00 am and 9:00 am. When you’re scheduling press release emails, you need to keep recipients’ time zones in mind. If you’re sending emails to international journalists, you will have to adjust your press release schedule to coincide with the journalist’s local time.
To stand out from inbox competition, you should refrain from sending out press releases on the hour or even on the half-hour. For instance, it’s best to avoid sending these emails at 7:00 am and 8:30 am. Many PR agencies choose to send their emails out on the hour, so it’s best to schedule your emails at a time like 8:23 am to prevent your emails from getting overlooked.
Times To Avoid Sending Press Releases
Unless you have major news that cannot wait until the morning, you should not send your press release out of office hours. You should avoid sending out releases in the afternoon. By this time, most journalists will be engrossed in their work and are likely to be less receptive to emails. If you have to send a release in the afternoon, you should do this between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm.
Ultimately, press releases must be sent at a time that works for the journalist rather than a time that works for you. If you are not getting desirable open and reply rates, you could consider split testing your press release distribution strategy by experimenting with different times. Testing will help you to find the optimal time for achieving the highest possible open and reply rates.
Experimentation is the key to unlocking more desirable open and reply rates. After split testing different times, you may find that research on the best time to send a press release doesn’t ring true for your campaigns. If you are going to split test your press release distribution strategy, there is another important variable that you will need to consider.
Best Day To Send Press Release
After exploring a wide range of data from research studies on the best day to send a press release, we concluded that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are generally the best days to send a press release. We spent time looking through data on the open and reply rates of press releases and outreach emails. Let’s break down some of the studies for you:
A study from Siege Media of “room-temperature” emails – that aren’t entirely out of the blue – found Monday was the best day for press release distribution. These Monday emails had an open rate of over 20%, a click rate of 4.3%, and a reply rate of 2.8%. Although the open rate for Wednesday emails was slightly lower than those sent on Monday, the reply rate was strong.
The open rate for Wednesday emails was 17.2%, and the reply rate was 2.6%, only 0.2% less than Monday. If the reply rate is the most important metric for your PR campaign, you should expect similar reply rates on Mondays and Wednesdays. Open rates decrease as the week goes on, so PR agencies may benefit from front-loading press releases earlier in the week.
A separate study from Business Wire found that journalists prefer having a story pitched to them on a Tuesday. The study involved a survey of 600+ members of the media living in 40+ countries. A slightly older study from 2015 by Ragan found that press releases sent on a Tuesday or Wednesday were more likely to be shared across social media.
Days To Avoid Sending Press Releases
Friday is likely to be the worst weekday for sending press releases. PR professionals know not to send press releases on Friday unless it is essential. Friday is a notoriously bad day to send press releases because journalists don’t want to be trying to report on a story at the end of the week. They already have a stack of tasks from earlier in the week to complete on a Friday.
While it might be tempting to buck the trend and send a press release on a Friday, the evidence from the studies we cited points to low open and reply rates at the end of the week. Unless there is a sense of urgency behind your press release, we would not recommend sending any emails to journalists on weekends. Following the unspoken rules of email etiquette is crucial.
When To Send A Press Release (Summary)
According to data from the research studies we explored, you should consider the following:
- The best days to send a press release are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
- The best time to send a press release is between 7:00 am and 9:00 am.
When it is possible, you should try to avoid sending press releases later in the working week as it becomes more challenging to capture the attention of journalists. Ultimately, open and reply rates are likely to vary depending on the types of journalists you’re targeting. We encourage you to experiment and split test your distribution strategy to see what research data rings true.
Create A Beautiful Online Media Kit With Releasd
OK, now we’ve covered the process, you may be wondering if there are any other ways of cutting through the noise and grabbing the attention of weary journalists.
Releasd customers are used to creating stunning PR activity reports – but many also use the platform to share eye-catching online press kits too.
Just look at this example media kit:
If you’d like to learn more about how Releasd can be used to create gorgeous reports, press kits and more, please get in touch.