Metrics Behind Press Releases REVEALED
On November 1, 2011, at 1:00pm EST, HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist, Dan Zarrella, and PR Newswire’s VP of Social Media, Sarah Skerik, teamed up to present a webinar about press releases. This webinar, which can be found at http://www.hubspot.com/the-science-of-pr-thanks, discusses the different tactics that can be employed to increase things like total views, engagement, media/spider visits, and Facebook sharing regarding press releases. Using the data provided by PR Newswire, Dan analyzes the effect that day of the week, hour of day, length of headline, photos, videos, and digits have on an individual press release. He makes uses graphs and charts to depict his analyses of these topics.
What does all that mean though, and why are press releases even important? Well, I will tell you. According to prweb.com, “press release distribution helps you create buzz, increase online visibility, and drive website traffic.” The whole point of creating a press release is to make other people aware of your information so that they can share it with all of their followers. As a result, you are able to increase the reach of your information 10 fold by simply creating, and distributing, a press release on sites such as PR Newswire.
Dan accurately outlines in this webinar how and when to distribute your press releases. Listed below are 8 things that I found to be most important and interesting:
1. 30 to 130 characters is the optimum length for a press release headline. Too short and the viewer will not have an accurate understanding of what to expect, and too long and view may get bored reading the headline – that’s no good.
2. Headlines that contain “digits” fair better than those without.
3. Include pictures in your press release! This makes it easier for the viewer to write a story about your information. If it’s easy for them, they are more likely to use your information.
4. Most press releases are published on Wednesday, creating a lot of competition; conversely, most press releases are read on Saturday and Sunday, when there is less competition.
5. However, in reference to 4, highest engagement occurs during the beginning of the week, and declines as the week progresses. So, pick your day wisely.
6. Around 1 and 2 AM is the hour with the highest views. These people are dedicated!
7. Adding photos to your press release is an easy way to increase views, engagement, and sharing.
8. Videos do not necessarily have the same overarching positive effects as photos do.
Overall, Dan encourages all writers to experiment with the day and time in which you publish your press releases. Track your results and don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things! The most important thing is just to get your information out there in a press release, so just go do it!