It’s a question that has confounded publicists and public relations professionals for ages: when would a pitch sent to journalists be most likely to yield a response? A recent study on pitching effectiveness released by Tel Aviv-based PR productivity platform Propel may shed some light on this subject.
Propel’s study analyzed more than 2,100 email pitches sent to more than 1,500 reporters by dozens of PR pros stationed at a variety of agencies, and then provided a breakdown of the daily open rate of those pitches.
In some ways, the study’s findings confirmed what many PR pros probably suspected. The worst day to send a pitch is Friday, where barely more than a third of pitches emailed—35 percent—were opened. This was followed by Thursday, where 39 percent of pitches sent were read. Monday, apparently never a good day for anyone, came in at a close third, where 43 percent of pitches sent were opened.
According to the study, the best day to pitch a reporter is Tuesday. On that day, nearly two-thirds— 62 percent— of emailed pitches were opened. The second-best day is Wednesday, where more than half of sent pitches—59 percent—were opened. Taken together, pitches sent between Monday and Wednesday were almost twice as likely to get a response than those sent toward the end of the week.
The study also revealed that the adage of pitching reporters first thing in the morning might not be good advice. According to the study, pitches sent between 12 and 1 p.m. were 90 percent more likely to be opened than pitches sent between 9 and 10 a.m. The second most effective slot to pitch is between 6 and 7 p.m., when pitches were 40 percent more likely to be opened than those sent between 9 and 10 a.m.
Finally, the study discovered that more than half of email pitches —54 percent—are never opened at all. As for the pitches that are read by journalists, more than half are opened within the first hour after receiving them, and 80 percent are seen at some point that day. After the first day, the study found the odds of a pitch being read plummeted to less than one in 10.