Blogs  / January 31, 2020

Key Timing Takeaways for News and IR Releases

by Erik Wagner, Sr. Director of Demand Generation

As we shared in our last blog post, Business Wire and Onclusive recently collaborated to report results from the first-ever impact analysis of nearly 17,000 news releases on generating syndicated pick-up, editorial coverage and social media engagement. In that post – the first in a series breaking down key information shared in the report – we talked about benchmarks for average social media and news engagement of news releases. In this post, we’ll share key findings around the timing of press and IR releases. 

Not surprisingly, timing can play a significant role in the impact of most types of releases. The data revealed that the timing of a PR news release can affect the number of syndicates, social media engagement, and earned media article count. One of the most noteworthy findings of the report is that the most popular days and times for news release distribution are not necessarily the most effective at generating editorial coverage.

Pay particular attention to Tuesdays

In an example taken straight from the data reported, the most popular time for PR teams to post their news releases is Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. ET, which has more than 2 times the news release volume of any other hour for the rest of the week. Because that time is so popular, it often leads to a release being lost in the crowd. It would make sense to make a slight adjustment to send the release at 7:57 or 8:13 (rather than the top of the hour) to help it stand out against noise. 

Generally speaking, the best days to put out news releases to generate coverage articles are Tuesdays and Fridays. It is commonly thought that Tuesday is the better day for general releases and Friday works best for stories that are less about hard news because journalists have more time at the end of the week (or during the weekend) to consider such items. Again, the determining factor is likely to be newsworthiness.

Afternoon releases see the highest social engagement

When it comes to tying news releases to social reach, the total volume of social media engagement spikes for releases that go out at 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. ET, followed by a smaller spike in engagement for releases that go out at 3:00 p.m. ET. However, when indexed as an average against the number of releases overall, the rate of social media engagement is actually best for releases that go out in the later hours of 1:00, 5:00, 7:00 and even 11:00 p.m. ET. Also, the study shows that social media attention for all kinds of PR releases is greater for weekend releases. This aligns with the mobile journey, highlighting times when people have more time to discover, consider and share. 

The impact of timing for Investor Relations Releases

It’s especially critical to consider timing for each and every investor release because of the ultimate implications. According to the research, the most popular individual hour for IR news releases is around 3 p.m. ET on Wednesdays, but there are also big pushes at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. early in the week. This timing reflects considerations of trying to move the market with their results, trying to avoid market movement, or to simply give people more time to digest the information. The most syndicates of IR releases are driven by releases that come out on Friday and Monday and the study narrows down the most effective times being 6:00 p.m. onward. Another key finding is that when timing IR releases, noon Tuesday and 10:00 a.m. Friday are best for maximizing social media engagement. 

For a detailed breakdown and easily digestible time-tables, download the full report here. Now that we’ve provided some benchmarks to measure against and some timing parameters to attempt to hit, it might be helpful to understand some other ways to optimize your releases for maximum impact. You can learn more of those tips in our upcoming third blog.