Find out the deadlines for the papers you are targeting.
For weekly papers that are published on Tues., Wed., or Thursday, make sure to send a press release 3-4 days before their publication date.
For dailies and weeklies send event calendar listings at least 2 weeks before the event date.
For press releases typically Fridays are not the best days for distribution unless your news is urgent. It is also not best to send out releases late in the day. A 3:30p.m. cut-off time for distribution of releases is recommended.
Timing of releases can also be affected by the news cycle. It is helpful to scan the news to determine if your press release will be considered news worthy. If there is a crisis occurring your news release may get buried.
Follow-up calls are important if you want to make sure the journalist has received your press release, to determine if they are interested in the story, and to offer additional information or resources. Journalists receive many press releases throughout the day. The follow-up call can help your release stand out. It is important to be knowledgeable about the subject of the release. If the journalist asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, be honest, and let the journalist know that you will get back to him/her with an answer.
In most instances journalists will not confirm whether they will run a press release. Editors also have to weigh in on news coverage decisions. If they show interest in your news item that is a positive sign. They may also tell you it will run based on available space. Since these decisions
are often made at the last minute, they are not able to tell you definitively when your release will run.
Relationships with journalists can also be a factor in finding out whether they will run your story. If you have worked with a journalist previously, they may be more likely to provide more definitive information. If a journalist is attending an event on your organization’s behalf, it is appropriate to ask when the story may run, however, they may or may not know.