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Is there ever a wrong time to try to get free publicity for your company, product, or service?

Oh, yeah.

The "wrong" time isn't just about bad days of the week, like Monday morning, or bad times of the year, like Christmas Eve.

The wrong time I'm referring to is more internal.

Let's say you're almost finished with your web site. It will be up next week, and you're almost ready to start taking orders. Is that the time to send out a press release? After all, everything will be ready by the time the press release hits. And you do want to get your press release out as early as possible so you can capitalize on the free traffic.

Don't do it. Do not, under any circumstances, send out a press release before you have everything in place and have tested it at least three times.

Just recently I was going to send out a release about one of my sites, but decided to wait until I'd made a minor change to the report signup form.

That "minor" change threw my entire web site into disarray and it took over five hours to get it back up. This was a live web site. I had to put up a "technical difficulties" note and work non-stop to fix the problem.

Fortunately, I had not sent out the press release, and it was a Sunday evening, New Year's Day in fact, so traffic was slow, and most people are understanding if you put up a note saying, "It's 6:31. I know about the problem and I'll have it fixed tonight. The site still works, it just looks funky."

That is, they're understanding IF you haven't just put out a press release stating that your cool new site is ready.

A couple of days is not going to matter in terms of long-term traffic. A big, visible mistake on your web site could matter a lot, if you're pushing traffic to it with a press release.

Just don't put out your press release until you're sure you're ready. That's the only right time to send a press release.

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