Dow Jones: Best practices for release distribution
Published on March 18th, 2010 by Jessica Strange
Our Media Relations team is constantly in touch with our downstream partners to ensure that communications between us is always clear and we are doing our best to promote our clients’ visibility in the marketplace. I recently had the opportunity to chat with an editor at Dow Jones, who provided me with useful tips and advice (particularly for IR folks) that will help our readers and clients maximize their press release distribution.
Most people think that Dow Jones covers all publicly traded companies — but this is a common misconception. In actuality, they will not report on companies listed on over-the-counter bulletin boards (OTCBB), Pinksheets or secondary exchanges (i.e., Vancouver Stock Exchange).
Timing is everything, even when distributing a press release. Dow Jones receives thousands of them on a daily basis. So, what is the optimum time to send your release to help you stand apart from the crowd? Here are a few recommendations to increase your chances of getting “seen”:
- Always issue news during market hours. They are more inclined to cover a larger set of companies due to manpower levels during standard market hours.
- Aim for a time when “others” are not issuing news. Although some instances are hard to predict, there are certain well-known events (social, political or economic) that should be avoided. Even consumer trade shows, such as the annual Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas, can add to the competition for press coverage.
- When sending out your press release, avoid the hour, half-hour and quarterly hour markers (i.e., 4:00, 4:30, 4:45). Rather, aim for off-setting your news issuance by a couple of minutes (i.e. 4:02, 4:05). Although the closing market bell is the heaviest wire-time of the day, the same timing advice applies for the opening bell.
Dow Jones editors do not favor one industry over another, and they do not discount or ignore less popular business sectors. What they’re looking for is compelling content that is newsworthy, timely and informative to their readership. This includes:
- Earnings and earnings potential
- Top-level (C-suite) executive changes
- Restructuring, layoffs and expansion plans
- Venture capital
- Hedge funds
Dow Jones pumps out hundreds of headlines just by the opening market bell alone and yet, overall, the number of headlines picked up by beat reporters and developed into enterprise reporting is relatively small. Exact percentages are hard to determine, but rough estimates indicate that 20 percent of headlines are developed by the media during off-peak seasons; 40 percent during earnings.
As mentioned, Dow Jones employs a standard set of news reporting guidelines when dealing with press release content. This should be no different than other traditional financial reporting news outlets. It’s about the news content and its impact on market conditions that warrant coverage.
Contact the Media Relations team anytime for more information about downstream partners, distribution and how to garner the most visibility for every release you send.