Earlier this week, HubSpot and PR Newswire hosted "The Science of Press Releases," a webinar that attracted nearly 8,500 registrants curious to learn how to engineer effective press releases. During the webinar, we received a ton of thought-provoking questions not often discussed in the industry. Without further ado, here are answers to your top 5 questions about press release optimization.

1. What is the difference between viewing a press release and engaging with it?

The meaning of viewing a press release is pretty straightforward. But what does engagement mean? Put simply, engaging with a press release refers to taking some action besides viewing the content. It could mean forwarding the press release, sending a tweet about it, or clicking on the call-to-action in it. In that sense, engagement as a metric carries more weight than views in determining the success of a press release. 

2. What’s the number one way my press releases can get more views and engagement?

Photos are the number one factor that positively influences both views of your press releases and engagement with them. “There is no reason why you should publish a press release without a photo,” said Dan on the webinar. Images help you tell a better story, thus making your content much more interesting and attracting journalists to talk about your press release. 

photos effect on engagement3. When should I be sending my press releases for maximum views and engagement?

Interestingly enough, the best practices for sending your press releases can slightly vary depending if you measure success by total views or engagement. While Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are best performing days for getting the most views of your press releases, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday perform better in terms of most engagement. The overlap here is Sunday, so you can start experimenting with that day and see how it performs compared to your previous activities. 

4. Why should I include digits in my press release title?

Dan’s research showed that including digits in the headlines of your press releases can lead to positive results. “When people are on the web, they are looking for specificity,” Dan said. In this context, data points help you cut through the clutter of vague content online and convey a strong message. Interestingly enough, this tactic can also be applied to other marketing channels, such as blog posts and emails.

digits effect on postings

5. Where can I find some examples of successful press releases?

Visit PR Newswire and look at the most popular press releases, as they are the most read and visited. There is a lot to be learned from looking at what is popular and identifying common patterns. For instance, you may see that some press releases are linking to news hooks, or events that are happening right now and are very timely.

Want to learn more press release optimization tips? Check out the on-demand webinar, and view the slides!


Originally published Nov 3, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016


Public Relations