Press releases are an important component of any company’s investor relations program. We are
often asked what, from an investor standpoint, is the best time to issue a press release? The truth
is that there is no “magical time” when a press release will have the most (or least, depending on the
nature of the news) impact on a company’s stock. If you ask this question of 100 industry professionals, you will likely get 100 different answers.
Our team at Gilmartin Group ran an analysis that looked at the time of day a press release was issued and if the resulting stock reaction could be correlated to that time of day. We found no significant difference in the stock reaction between press releases issued before the market opened and press releases issued after the market closed.
Understanding that we have not found any scientific evidence to support claims for correlations between the timing of a press release and stock reaction, we will highlight some timing considerations that could impact the attention that a press release will receive from investors and potential investors.
Here are some general rules to abide by.
- Monday Mornings are Very Busy. First thing Monday morning is generally a very busy time when most investors and analysts are catching up on the weekend activity and getting ready for the week ahead. Inboxes are likely already flooded with last weekend’s emails. It is easy for news items to get lost as people clear out their inboxes, so try to avoid issuing a press release before the market opens on a Monday.
- Weekends Often Begin Mid-Day Friday. By the middle of the day on a Friday, many are starting
to check out for the weekend, emails are put off for the following week and activity is slowing down. Putting news out on a Friday afternoon runs a high risk that it will get missed or remain unopened as people are finishing out their week, winding down their day and beginning their weekend.
- Be Aware of Earnings Periods. Earnings periods are very busy times, filled with news that will
consume the time of many investors and analysts. It is best to be cognizant of the earnings calendar for your sector in order to avoid putting news out on days where your desired audience will be consumed by competing news. If a press release must go out during a competitive news time, consider staggering your release to be issued at a mid-day or an off-hour time.
- Consider Industry Conferences. Conferences can take the attention of and distract both investors and analysts. It is a good idea to be aware of the major industry and financial conferences that could impact the availability and attention of your target audience and to try to work the issuance of press releases around these events.
As you consider the above items when deciding on when to issue a press release, it is important to remember the following: no matter the day – Friday, Saturday, or even Sunday – or the time of the day, it is always better to send your press release than not send anything at all.
Debbie Kaster, Managing Director