Publicity Tactics: What Are the Worst Days to Send Press Releases?

“What is the best day to send a press release” is a question I get every time I talk to a new client.

It’s a fair question. All things being equal, why not send the press release to reporters when they are most likely to read it and when prospects are most likely to want to be looking for information?

That said, the best days are probably Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. That’s because Monday is a bad day since reporters are catching up on the weekend and planning their activities for the week. Fridays are bad because reporters want to leave the office early to enjoy the weekend. You also don’t want your press release to run on a Saturday when viewership is lower. You might have heard that big companies announce bad news on a Friday afternoon exactly for this reason.

Other bad times would be when reporters and potential readers are taking vacations, such as:
·      Three-day weekend holiday, including Fourth of July weekend, Labor Day weekend and Memorial Day weekend
·      The entire week of Thanksgiving (unless you have a retailing/shopping story for Black Friday or Cyber Monday).
·      The three days before Christmas and one day after.
·      The two days before New Year’s Eve and one day after.
·      Major Jewish holidays, including Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Jewish holidays start at sundown the day before the holiday so there could be lower readership and fewer reporters working on both those days (i.e. the day before and the day of the holiday). Some people take off the second day of Rosh Hashanah as well. Some people take off the entire 8 days of Passover. Hanukah, which usually occurs near Christmas, is not a big holiday for vacation plans nor religious observance.

Every rule has exceptions. Here are a few:
·      If you are exhibiting at an industry trade show that happens to fall on these dates, then you should definitely issue press releases, as many reporters will be attending the conference.
·      If you have truly newsworthy, breaking news to announce send the press release immediately.
·      If you have commentary on breaking news, send the press release immediately. You need to strike when the iron is hot.
·      If you are in a business-to-business marketplace that has a dominant weekly newspaper, then send your news on a Monday so it has a better chance to be added to the news budget for that week. With the Internet’s never-ending news cycle, b2b trade publications will print news any day of the week, of course.

If you follow these tips, you’ll have a better chance of having your press release appeal to reporters and readers.