Slouching Towards Friday: Best Days to Send a News Release

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    A longtime client asked me to post a news release to the media last Friday. I gulped and said to myself, “Where have I gone wrong? How many times I have I told them, ‘Any day but Friday?’ Am I totally not communicating clearly in my media savant communications capacity?” Gulp, and gulp again…. “Can I home go home yet?”

    But, being of service, I obliged.

    Today said client emailed and said there seemed to be no action on the release. I promised to look into it, which means calling the usual suspects and most likely resending the news release to a handful of them.

    Why is Friday such a bad day to send a news release? Simply because it is the end of the work week. Unless you have breaking news that can’t wait, it’s a day better left to other endeavors. Ditto for Monday, when people are just getting back into the work week and also getting inundated with news releases, plus taking the regularly scheduled Monday morning meeting while jumping onto a bunch of other multitasks.

    On the other hand, plenty of organizations do freely send out releases on Friday, late Friday, too — news that is rarely “good.” These parties are usually large corporations that misfired (the recall of Motrin story broke Saturday so I’m guessing — only guessing — this was a Friday release — see the story link here: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6401AK20100501). Or a branch of the federal government that screwed up or was slow to react to other news (notice how Obama arrived over the weekend to visit the growing Oil catastrophe in the gulf). Or a tarnished political org (pick an org, any org), hoping this news goes unnoticed. Ha!

    I’m guessing no one in media — especially at the big news media outlets — has ever missed a “bad news” news release that was sent on Friday afternoon when most people’s thoughts are turning to what the weekend has in store for them. While the press and broadcast media all staff for the weekend, the available resources are usually thin. And getting thinner.

    Over the past two years, the lousy economy has decimated the ranks of those working in media — yet another reason to consider what day of the week to send your news release. Of course, PR is about much more than just sending a news release.

    But you knew that already. Didn’t you?

    Gulp.