This is a common question for businesses and public relations agencies and departments. Unfortunately, there are only a few general rules and the best bet is to test and track press releases for the best times.

When might be the best time of the day to publish a press release?

Between 8am and 9am tends to be the most popular time to send a press release. The next most popular times are 10am and 4pm.  People are either just beginning or ending their work day and have more time to deal with press releases, both reading them and sending them.

Between 10pm and 4am not much in the way of news tends to move. No one is sending press releases in the middle of the night and no one is there to view or receive them either. So that means less competition but also fewer views. By the time journalists get into the office and a targeted audience hops online all of those 8am releases are now a higher priority.

Optimal Solution

So what is the optimal solution? Mid-afternoon seems to be a decent option but be sure to consider the exact distribution time. Most people schedule press releases for the top of the hour. One can reduce competition and elicit more attention for the release if it is scheduled to be distributed or shared at an odd time. For example, instead of 4:00, try scheduling it for 4:20.

What Day of the Week Should Be Used for Press Releases?

A similar logic follows for choosing the best day of the week as well. Tuesdays tend to be the most popular day to send press releases because the very beginning of the week can be more hectic for people. Monday, however is still used very frequently. It is the second most popular. The fewest number of releases are distributed on Fridays. If a weekend is chosen, there is very little competition.

See also  Content Marketing and Public Relations

One thing to remember is that most people work all the time. In the modern technology age, the concept of a work and life balance is practically nonexistent. Access to information, including press releases, is merely a matter of opening a browser on a mobile device.

Schedule Tests of Different Times and Days to Discover the Best Results

Testing the time of day and the day of the week to see what works best is extremely beneficial. Surprisingly, one might find that Friday or Saturday at midnight is just as effective as Thursday afternoon. Look for press release distribution services that offer reporting and tracking features so that one can accurately track the results of a distribution campaign and make changes to press release marketing campaigns for better results.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.