More than two-thirds of marketers (68%) say that sending a press release raises brand or product visibility, and about a third find they are useful for reinforcing thought leadership, as well as building stronger relationships with journalists, according to Cision's second State of the Press Release report.
Cision's research looked at best practices, trends and insights into the use of press releases by PR professionals. Looking at data derived from more than 100,000 press releases distributed over Cision's PR Newswire as well as a survey of PR pros from across the US, Cision found that press releases are a key tool in a PR pro's arsenal.
This utility does not necessarily translate into quantity. While 25% of those surveyed said they sent an average of 10 to 24 releases over a newswire in a year, 41% said they distributed fewer than five.
Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said they plan to include multimedia elements, such as photos and videos. According to Cision's analysis, engagement dramatically increases with these additional elements: a single image can double engagement, while multiple images can lead to a six-fold increase in engagement.
Cision also found that an overwhelming majority, 74%, of readers view press releases on the newswire online, compared to just 5% on mobile. Even though conventional wisdom suggests that Tuesday is the best day to send out releases, their analysis shows that business hours on Monday to Thursday see significant activity. This is particularly true in the morning, but visits to PR Newswire are also relatively high after work hours in the evening as well as on the weekend.
Cision supports PR and marketing professionals through its PR Newswire network, monitoring and analytics, and via social media solutions such as Brandwatch and Falcon.io.