Do your press releases make the grade?

Clean up gobbledygook and other mishaps to improve the state of press releases.

Clean up gobbledygook and other mishaps to improve the state of press releases

The last thing a PR pro wants is for a reporter to delete or crumple up their press release and toss it in the trash. If you forget a phone number, misspell a word or send out a 10-page document, reporters won’t give you the time of day.

But there’s a new tool—the Press Release Grader—to help PR pros avoid getting on journalists’ nerves by making stupid mistakes. The grader combs through a press release searching for overused words, missing info, bad link usage and other rookie mistakes.

“The media is overwhelmed,” said Mike Volpe, vice president of marketing for HubSpot, an Internet marketing company that developed the grader. “Most press releases are not as effective as they could be.”

HubSpot surveyed about a dozen PR professionals to determine what features to include in the grader. To use, copy and paste a press release into the online tool, click “Grade press release” and within seconds, see a detailed report on readability, word count, company info, link usage and other odds and ends.

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