In life, they say, timing is everything. You have to pay attention or you end up missing opportunities. The same is said for public relations. For this article, we will examine how timing is everything when it comes to sending press releases and why you should have a relationship with the journalists and other writers you contact.
Now your press release might get published even if the journalist is not familiar with you or your company. However, you greatly increase your chances of a published story if you:
- Know What They Write—Follow the journalist or writer on social media and keep tabs on what they write. If your press release is in line with their interests, send it to them.
- Be a Good Resource—If they request sources for a particular story and you can help, by all means do it. One good deed deserves another.
- Don’t Be a Pest—If your story doesn’t get picked up, don’t send it over and over. Pick another newsworthy subject and try again.
Building a relationship with a journalist is like building a relationship with anyone else. It takes time and you need to be proactive and aware of the world around you (and how your news fits into it.) As you are building this relationship, it is worthwhile to be conscious of the best time to send a press release. This can change depending on your industry or if you have some late-breaking news to share, however, a few simple guidelines are:
- No Weekends or Late Friday Afternoons—By the time people open their emails on Monday, your release will be so buried as to never see the light of day.
- No Early Mornings—Same with weekends and Fridays, press releases sent during the early morning hours (before 7) are lost in the hundreds of others sent during the same time. Aim for mid-morning or mid-afternoon, but before 4 to beat deadlines.
- Be Present—When you send a press release, plan to be available so journalists can reach you if necessary. So many people send a release and then go on vacation—so aggravating for the writer.
- No Holidays—Don’t try to put out a release during a major holiday. People may already be on vacation or they may be in the office trying to crank out their story before they can relax. Either way, you will not be high priority.
Remember to read and reread your press release to avoid errors. In fact, send it to someone else at your company for proofreading. The little extra time you spend doing this will save you the headache later of issuing a correction.
Do you have any other helpful ideas on press release timing? Share your thoughts in the comments.