Everything You Need to Know About Distributing a Press Release

Everything You Need to Know About Distributing a Press Release

Pick any topic in the world and you’ll find the internet awash with advice and tips from self-proclaimed experts with the subject of press releases being no exception. Contradictory advice is everywhere, so how do you know which information to trust?

TheNewsMarket has been placing brand press releases in front of the right target journalists for over 20 years, the name becoming one of the most trusted sources of news among journalists around the world. Currently, TheNewsMarket hosts over 50,000 press releases, giving us access to a minefield of insights, data and journalist behaviour, which we’re happy to share to help you master the trusty press release.

What is press release distribution?

Press release distribution means you are sending your press release to the journalists and publications your news is relevant to. The most effective form of press release distribution is as part of an overall strategy. Unless you are a globally known conglomerate, distributing a one-off press release rarely makes an impact. The key is continuity and by creating a calendar of press releases over a set period, you can build your business reputation among your target media.

How do I distribute a press release?

Ideally, by combining two techniques. Initially, you should be giving out your press release prior to its release date to close contacts and influential journalists in your industry. This is where the embargo comes in to ensure your news doesn’t break before the release date.

Secondly, you should also be using an established press release distribution service, such as a wire or a content distribution platform, to ensure you reach every journalist relevant to your story, particularly those you’re not close with yet. You need to carefully consider the best option not only for your business but also for the type of news you’re releasing.

What are my press release distribution options?

A wire is the most popular form and is useful for national-worthy news stories, hitting news desks and broadcasters worldwide. However it’s often expensive and important to remember that your press release will be blanket-dropped to the same journalists as the thousands of other businesses also using that wire.

For most businesses and organisations, a content distribution service will be the best solution. TheNewsMarket, for example, ensures your news goes directly to only the journalists who write about your industry, such as sport media, technology journalists, sustainability editors and broadcast producers.

When choosing a service, it’s advisable to find out how they plan to support your press release. TheNewsMarket works with a dual approach; distributing your press release out to relevant industry media as well as hosting your news and content on the platform itself for our 750,000 media users to discover and download.

When is the best time to send a press release?

It may come as a surprise, but there is no one-time-fits-all answer to this. There are, however, some common-sense considerations to bear in mind.

Our data shows peak journalist engagement between 10am-6pm.  Every journalist starts their day with an inbox full of press releases, so wait until after 10am when they have cleared through the initial bulk.

Only distribute a press release in business hours, after that your press release will join that early morning bulk and it’ll be harder to compete for the journalist’s attention. 

What is the best day to send a press release?

Our data shows minimal journalist engagement with press releases distributed on a Saturday or Sunday, so always stick to weekdays. We’d also recommend avoiding late Friday afternoon (or Friday at all, if possible) and the same for Monday mornings.

Avoid bank holidays and if you’re sending your press release to a European country, remember that many shutdown in August, so do your local research.

How far in advance do I send a press release?

Timing the release of your news is as crucial as the story itself and depends heavily on the type of story you’re releasing as well as the publications you’re targeting.

The type of story you’re releasing (such as B2B or consumer) will determine the lead-time of the publication. What is a lead-time? It’s PRs most crucial tool for successfully landing a story.

A lead-time is the amount of time is takes to produce that ‘edition’ of a publication, it originates from a pre-internet era and is still as relevant today as the day it was first developed.

You can use the following lead-time guide to plan your press release distribution:

4-6 months

National consumer magazines (known in the industry as ‘glossies’), such as GQ, Vogue, Men’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan, take at least 6 months to produce from planning to print. Well-known moments-in-time to release news include Christmas in July and Summer in February.

Example stories: beauty, fashion or interior product launch, Christmas gift guide suggestion, human interest story.

4 months

Print B2B magazines (also known as Trade magazines) tend to work between 2-4 months in advance, so distribute your news early. The majority are now also digital so if you are happy with online coverage, you can submit your release days prior.

Example stories: announcing a new client or partnership, launching a new service or product for businesses, releasing an industry report, financial results

2-4 months

Regional consumer magazines tend to have a shortened lead-time compared to monthlies, but make sure you submit your news around key moments in time early, such as Mother’s Day or Christmas.

Example stories: Mother’s Day gift recommendation, hosting a local event, running a regional competition

National newspaper supplements also work to this timeframe, these publications are ideal for lifestyle, feature, business or financial news.

1 month

For some businesses, print coverage isn’t of interest and the main target for news is online publications. This strategy is popular with brands looking to improve SEO.

1 month is also the ideal advance to give to national news reporters, broadcast journalists, planners and producers.

Overall, there’s a lot to consider and a great deal of noise to sift through regarding distributing your press release so using a trusted partner to support your campaign can make all the difference. By using TheNewsMarket, you can confidently distribute your news to the right media, not over-full inboxes, as well as host your news on our trusted content hub. Our platform is backed behind the scenes by PR and editorial experts, all on-hand to give you advice and support along the way.

If you’d like to talk to us about press release distribution, public relations support and/or content creation services, you can call Delano Pansi, our Director of Media Solutions on +44 (0) 7795 363 500 or email Delano.pansi@thenewsmarket.com


Published: September 27, 2023

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