When is the best time to approach journalists with press releases?

by | Aug 30, 2022

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As a PR agency based in Brussels, we are responsible for drafting and delivering press releases for our clients on a daily basis. But on what day of the week and at what time do you have the highest success rate for reaching journalists?

Our colleagues over at HBI interviewed nearly 100 journalists from all sectors on this topic and we’re going to discuss the results, providing an answer for which times journalists prefer to receive press releases. The results show that the beginning of the week and the morning are the most popular times.

Best day for sending out press releases

 PR agencies are often asked by their client’s which day is most suitable for a mailing. The answer to that question is Tuesday with 75%of the respondents naming Tuesday as the optimal day (multiple answers were possible). Monday was the second-best day to send out press releases, with 62% of the respondents giving that answer. Altogether the trend can be stated clearly that journalists prefer news at the beginning of the week, in order to be able to process it during over the following days.

During the week the willingness to receive news becomes weaker. Friday is the most unsuitable working day with 44%. Unsurprisingly, the weekend is not successful as well either, respectively with 13 and 16%. Many journalists, however, answered that the actuality of the news is more important when it comes to daily press. They want to be informed as soon as possible. For many, the day of sending is then rather unimportant.

What is the best time to send out press releases?

Also interesting is the time during the day itself. Although 47% state that they don’t care about the exact hour, almost as many (46%) prefer to receive press releases in the morning. It turns out that journalists are particularly on the lookout for story opportunities at the beginning of the day and tend to spend the afternoon creating content. For many journalists, speed is once again a priority here. Latest news should be sent as early as possible. With less time-critical messages, the time is significantly less important.

How many links should a press release contain?

The times when press releases were still sent by postal mail are long gone. The sending of press releases by e-mail is common practice. E-mails also have the advantage that links to additional information can be set. Journalists also appreciate this: 71% of the respondents find further links helpful or very helpful. However, press releases should not contain too many. A clear majority of 75% find the amount of one to three links appropriate.

The links should also clearly show where they lead to. Almost 70% of the surveyed journalists considered it important that the link path is clearly visible. Short URLs like bitly are not popular. Where these links should lead is also a major question. Relevance and ease of work for journalists is important here. With 78%, a link to image databases and media kits was mentioned most frequently, followed by detailed information on the company website (68%). Information from external sites is not necessarily required (45%).

As part of this study, HBI interviewed 97 journalists. Among them chief editors, freelance journalists and other editors, for example in the online sector or for trade journals. If you are looking for a PR agency to help you reach journalists, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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