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Time Your News Release
For Maximum Publicity


"Cindy, where's that local news story? I need it yesterday!"

"Coming right up, boss. I'll have it to you soon," Cindy shouted back.

"Yesterday isn't soon enough!"

Cindy clicked on her screen. "You have mail." She looked at the messages. "Three news releases," she murmured. "I don't have time for public relations now." [delete] [delete] [delete]

Stop! Was that your news release Cindy just deleted? Too bad you sent it to her at the wrong time. You may have heard that "timing is everything" and that is even more true in media relations. But how do you know when is the best time to send a news release?

Media relations is an art more than a science, so there is no single rule. If there was, everyone would be a media star. Here are a few guidelines to help you zoom ahead of your competition for the media's attention:

Each type of media and each type of journalist is different. Here are just a few of the variables:

  • National or local media
  • TV, newspaper, radio or magazine
  • News reporter, features reporter or columnist
  • Consumer magazine or trade journal
  • Daily, weekly or monthly publication
  • Print or electronic media

Each company or organization is different, as is its PR needs and the news stories it can offer. Here are just a few of the variables:

  • Local, national or international operations
  • Pre-scheduled news release, or last-minute reaction to today's news.
  • Product announcement, policy announcement, financial announcement

Have a news release to send? For $50, I will review your news release, provide a professional edit to make it as successful as possible, and make whatever additional recommendations to maximize your publicity success. CLICK HERE (48 hour weekday* service - often faster - or you don't pay.)
* U.S. and Canadian holidays excluded

Get the best publicity in the morning

Bearing in mind the wide range of news you might announce and the wide range of media targets, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. tends to be the best time of day to release news. You want to give the assignment editor time to send a reporter out to cover your news. If you hope to get into the noon news, you don't want to go too late, because you run into TV deadlines. Early afternoon is a second-best time, but if you get much past 2:30, you will catch Cindy's [delete] button at most daily newspapers and local television stations.

I have been asked about the best day of the week to send out a release. There isn't one. I have witnessed plenty of debates on this. From personal experience, the only difference I ever noticed is when I could pick a slow news day. For instance, if in your city the daily newspaper can be reached on Sunday and not too much tends to happen that day in your subject area, you may find it easier to get into Monday's newspaper than if you try later in the week. This worked for me when I was dealing with government policy issues, since very little happened on the weekend and they needed some policy issues to report on in the Monday newspaper. But on average, there is not much difference from one day to the next.

Best time of month, year, etc? Again, there is no single best time. There is one golden rule. Do not send out a news release when the world is wrapped up in some all-consuming event like the death of a pop icon or a global scale natural disaster. Think how much TV airtime and newspaper print space are devoted to such tragic events. The media and its audiences had other things on their minds than your publicity. You can't control events, but you can control the timing of your news release (most of the time).

How far in advance should you send out your release? Some book reviewers usually need several months. Others don't want to see your announcement until the book is on the store shelves. Many consumer magazines have a six-month editorial preview. Features editors often run several weeks ahead of time, but sometimes squeeze items in on short notice. News departments want only breaking news. Yesterday's news is, well, yesterday's news. Your news release is already forgotten.

Does all this sound confusing? It is. The bottom line in any marketing is to know your target market and give it what it wants. Same with the media. The guidelines above give a very abbreviated list of what you need to consider. If you are still unsure, a media coach might be a good investment. But be careful - find someone with enough experience and success to coach you in the right direction.

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