How Long Does it Take to Write a Press Release? “Several days,” said half of those polled

Polling results are in for Business Wire’s occasional 1-question poll and to those of us in the press release business, the results are no surprise.  My sense is that PR professionals may want to use these results to justify billable hours spent on press release creation, too.  Here’s a summary:

Almost half of 277 respondents said it takes “several days” to write and get approval for a press release.     Only 3%–nine of the total–were lucky enough to churn out a press release in “an hour.”  About 37%  said they spend “half a day” or “a day” to get press releases together while those poor PR souls who need “weeks” constituted an unenviable 11%.   Details below.

How Long Does it Take to Write a Press Release

Several of you wondered why we didn’t make our poll into two questions–since writing a release and getting approvals are such distinct steps in the process.  The reason: we wanted to find out the total time investment in the release BEFORE it arrives at Business Wire.  We also wanted to keep the poll to one question to encourage participation.

So what are we getting at?  Press Release Optimization.

Anecdotally, clients tell us that they “don’t have time” to optimize their press releases.  Or they don’t know how.  That’s why we built a free tool, Press Release Builder, that walks you through the optimization process.   Thing is, clients aren’t using it because it takes an extra few minutes.   Huh?  

Why would you NOT spend an extra 30 – 45 minutes optimizing your press release for search given that you’ve already invested “several days” getting it to the one-yard line?   Business Wire couldn’t help but wonder.

One obstacle is that clients are not managing press release optimization into their workflow.  Frequently press releases are written and approved, and by the time they arrive at Business Wire, their creators have no no interest in tweaking keywords or rearranging paragraphs that might change the copy and require a return to the meat grinder for more time-consuming approvals.

We understand.  That’s why we encourage you to factor press release optimization into your budget BEFORE you come to Business Wire for distribution.  Even if you work with a digital PR firm or a search engine specialist, it will take time.   You can play around with Press Release Builder at your leisure, FOR FREE, when you’re not on deadline.   Talk to your account executive.  It’s worth the investment.

To those who participated, thanks for taking the poll.  And how about helping with the next one?  Do you optimize your press release for search engines?

Business Wire Occasional 1-Question Poll:

How long does it take to write and get approval for a press release?

an hour–3.2% (9 respondents)
half a day–20.21% (56 respondents)
a day–16.96% (47 respondents)
several days–48.73% (135 respondents)
weeks–10.83% (30 respondents)
277 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls.  Poll conducted March, 2009.

6 Responses to How Long Does it Take to Write a Press Release? “Several days,” said half of those polled

  1. […] Category Cloud 2009 PR Predictions Andrew Hudson Awards Democratic National Convention Denver Denver Business Journal Denver Post Economic News Events Fox31 GBSM GroundFloor Media Jobs Johnston Wells journalism Journalism Moves KCNC KUSA Layoffs Linhart Newspapers Penny Parker PR Moves PRSA Public Relations Rocky Mountain News Schenkein Uncategorized Westword Wins 11 Percent of Us Spend ‘Weeks’ Getting Releases Approved April 1, 2009, 7:08 am Filed under: Public Relations File this under “Clients You Hope You Never Get:” 11 percent of respondents to a Business Wire poll said it takes “weeks” to get a press release drafted and approved. […]

  2. […] Are On You! Jason Chupick of PRNewser takes note of our recent survey results on how long it takes to write and get approval for a press release, especially the 11% of respondents who said it takes […]

  3. […] astonishing 11% of PR people surveyed by press release wire service BusinessWire answered “weeks” when asked how long it takes them to write and get approval for a […]

  4. […] we said in a previous post, our clients tell us  they “don’t have time” to optimize their press releases for search engines.  […]

  5. […] question was covered in a recent Business Wire PR Peeps poll, and continues to be a frequent query from our clients.  More than half of PR practitioners polled […]

  6. […] may be much higher than you’d expect. Consider the case of the press release. According to a BusinessWire survey, most respondents said it takes a half day or several days to complete a press release. If your […]

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