Michelle Sullivan Communications

HubSpot Press Release Grader (beta v 0.86)

HubSpot does it again, with another great online tool for PR practitioners. This time, it’s a press release grader. The concept is simple : you cut and paste the content of your press release into the tool, add the company name and website address and you’re off to the races.

The results is an online report (with copy emailed to you) which shows you where your release falls short. Particularly useful for those of us interested in incorporating SEO strategy into our communications plan.

The report provides you with information like :

  • Word count (recommending between 250-750 words)
  • Link count
  • Readability (minimum education needed)

Confirmation that the release includes :

  • a phone number and email address
  • an ‘About’ section
  • a link to the corporate website
  • an End of content marker (defined as ###)

It looks for what it calls ‘Gobbledygook Words’ – apparently ‘unique’ is one of these, overused and lacking specific meeting. Based on The Gobbledygook Manifesto by David Meerman Scott.

It conducts a link analysis which recommends the following :

  • URL links should reference a permanent (not redirected) URL
  • Links to the website should appear early in the release
  • The anchor text of the link should match some of the words in the page title of the target page
  • Press releases should generally contain on or more links that use anchor text incorporating relevant keywords

It also has a Word Cloud, where size of the word indicates frequency. This is a particularly interesting tool that allows us to be sure that the key concepts of our releases are coming across strongly from an SEO point of view. Words are clickable, allowing you to see very easily exactly where they appear in your text.

From the looks of things, the social media press release would do well, here, as long as certain conventions continued to be respected.

This tool isn’t French release-friendly … or language other than English for that matter … which is a shame, since most of my client drafts are written in French, then translated once an official version has been negotiated. That said, it’s certainly a well-presented and interesting tool worthy of consideration.

But it’s 3pm on Friday, so I will now begin to consider the weekend. Enjoy!

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