HubSpot just announced the availability of PressRelease Grader. Based on the company’s Website Grader, the idea is to help companies optimize their releases for SEO purposes. I think PressRelease Grader will be a good tool for marketers and public relations professionals seeking to optimize releases for SEO purposes.
You just cut and paste the content of your release and it evaluates it on several points: general statistics, suggestions for content, and link analysis. There’s also a word cloud highlighting which words are used most in the release.
Things I like about the application:
- Education level of the release: Depending on the audience for the release, you have to write the release accordingly. Looks like my releases are graduate level. Thankfully I’m not a consumer facing company otherwise, this would be an issue.
- Gobbledygook Words: Based on David Meerman Scott’s book, this tells if you if you’re overusing certain words. Unfortunately scalable and robust are words that I constantly use in press releases!
- Link Analysis: This portion analyzes the words and links in your release. It provides recommendations to make the links stronger for SEO.
Recommendations for the release grade:
- Glossary of terms: I recommend hyperlinking industry terms and pointing to a glossary or definition. Though I’m not new to SEO per se, there are some terms that I may not use on a daily basis.
- URL to press release: I recognize that the tool is great for unpublished press releases. I would be interested in seeing an ability to put in an URL for a published release. This way, you can analyze additional points for the release, such as are the keywords, title and description consistent with the release.
I look forward to seeing how the Press Release Grader improves with feedback from fellow PR folks out there.
All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.
Admit it. If you’re in PR, you’re probably a control freak. Come on, the first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem. It took me over 10 years, and I can now calmly stand before my fellow PR colleagues, “My name is Cece and I’m a control freak.” Follow these SEVEN steps and you too can start down the road to recovery:
Not everything is in your control. Let me repeat that. Not Everything Is In Your Control. Say it often enough, you might believe it.
Don’t panic. Breathe and take a step back (physically if you need to) when things get to hectic.
Stop working now. If you worked 24 hours a day, you would still have tasks on your to do list. Sometimes, it recognizing that you can do it all
Believe it or not, you’re not always right. Seriously, you’re not because I am.
It’s a press release, not a novel. I don’t consider myself the best writer but there are those of you who still have that manuscript tucked away in your desk. Just because you have aspirations to be a novelist doesn’t mean your press releases should too.
You’re not a ventriloquist. No matter how much media training an executive gets or how clearly you write the key messages, you can’t speak on behalf of your spokesperson. Honestly, you can’t. Unless you have a hidden talent?
Organized good. OCD bad. Don’t get me wrong, you need to be organized otherwise something important can fall through the crack. But being too obsessive-compulsive will just drive you, you team and your client crazy.
So will you join me?
I noticed a recent spat of posts about tradeshows. Some discuss the value of participating in the show while others discuss the “emergence” of virtual tradeshows. At one point in my career, I had focused on conferences and speaking engagements – originally with Niehaus Ryan Wong’s Speakers Bureau and eventually starting the Conference Strategies for Blanc & Otus.
From a PR perspective, I view conferences as an opportunity to establish thought leadership and to increase a company’s awareness. However, it’s also important to understand how this fits within the marketing mix for organizations. Attending a show is not a small endeavor for a company. It’s costly, requires staff and must provide concrete results in the form of sales gold – the almighty sales lead. These folks have done a great job as discussing the value of tradeshows:
Disclosure – my company has developed online conferences and events and provide live and on-demand streaming webcasts into virtual tradeshows for organizations.
When you’re a start-up, PR can be a difference for the company. The challenge is how to get targeted, quality media coverage on a limited budget and competing objectives. One of my favorite sayings lately is “by hook or crook.” What I mean is what can I do in the short-term to satisfy immediate results while keeping the eye on long-term value.
Here are some ways that start-ups can get some quick and dirty media coverage:
1) Editorial Calendars: Magazines will publish an editorial calendar to highlight areas of coverage for the coming weeks or months. Though the purpose is to garner advertising dollars, this will give you an opportunity to determine if there are appropriate stories. Contact the editorial assistant to determine process for contacting reporters and if the story has been assigned. 2) Executive Profiles: Consider pitching profiles of your CEO or founder to local newspapers, business journals or bloggers who focus on entrepreneurship. This provides a good opportunity to highlight your thought leadership within in your industry as well as vision for the company.
3) New Hire Placements: Local newspapers and journals include information about new executives at local companies. Each publication will have different criteria for submitting this information and may take several weeks for it to appear. I recommend submitting a photo as this will likely will get published with the brief.
4) Hold a Crazy Stunt: There is a balance between a stunt for marketing purposes and one that ties back into your overall objectives. I recently read about this stunt in the local newspaper. Briefly, this company was giving out tomatoes with money on it. Why? The name of the company is CashTomato.com. Frankly, I think this was poorly thought out and didn’t help promote the company’s end product… video-sharing site… yeah. Though it garnered coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle, I don’t know what else it accomplished. Dead pool anyone? =)
What are you PR tips for start-ups?
This past week has seen some interesting conversations about press releases/newswires, how to conduct social media campaigns and the relationship with customers. Enjoy this last issue before the President’s Weekend Holiday. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed.
The Power of News Wires – Read/WriteWeb has an interesting post about how BusinessWire’s influence and ability to be a top Techmeme source. If newswires are able to gain this much influence for a press release, does this mean PR folks will be “lazier” in getting placements for press releases?
When a Release is Not a Release – B.L. Ochman highlights her experience with PR Web’s decision not to post a release because it didn’t satisfy their standard of a press release. The release was a funny announcement for procrastinators on Valentine’s Day. The tone was perfect for this type of announcement, yet PR Web insisted that B.L. make some changes. Frankly, who’s to decide what is and isn’t a release. I could understand profanity but because it wasn’t written in the third person? Puh-lease!
Blogs are the Music to My Ears – Mack Collier writes about how blogs have contributed more to music sales than MySpace. Need I say more?
Valentine’s Day Special: It’s About the Relationship -Toby Bloomberg of Diva Marketing Blog put together a special post for Valentine’s Day. She lists 62 responses to how to create great business relationships. Tons of great tips from all walks of life and industries. I like #4, #7, #12, #27, #34 (this one is tough for me.. ask my husband =), #62. My tip? Be humble and admit that you don’t know everything.
Successful Customer Case Studies - Jeremiah Owyang is on a roll. He’s providing great insight as an analyst that should help every PR person out there. This week’s nugget of wisdom, creating successful customer case studies.
SMRs in the Real World – Brian Solis posts an email from Steve Kayser who has outlined his experience using SMRs in the real world. Very informative regarding what to be aware of as one proceeds down this avenue.
Social Campaigning… Not! – Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology highlights a good point about Social Media. Social media can’t be considered a campaign as a campaign eventually ends. It require diligent work and commitment. Only then can you see reap the rewards of entering the social media world.
Measurement Makes Your Executives Care – Dave Fleet reminds us that measurement is key for executive support and understanding. Like Social Media, it can’t be an one-time project. It has to be monitored constantly. I previously wrote about the PR measurements I track. It’s quick, easy and can be maintained weekly. Leave a comment if you’re interested in learning more.
Six Deadly Sins of Social Media
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been hearing that more agencies are working on projects on a retainer basis vs hourly. My understanding is that the retainer enables an agency to focus on the work versus the administration.
This is intriguing, because I previously wrote that charging by the hour contributed to part of the bad image that PR folks have. It raises several questions for me:
- Are smaller/boutique agencies the only ones doing this?
- Does this result in better quality work?
- Does this mean there is less “nickel and diming” since it’s a set retainer?
Heck, being in-house, I like this. I know what my budget is on a month-to-month basis. No ugly surprises. No explanations to my boss and finance department. What is there not to love.
I posed this question to my twitter folks, “do you think a retainer basis is better than hourly? If so, why?” Here;s the conversation:
I would love to hear from PR agencies and other folks – in-house or agency. Which is better – montly retainer or monthly projections billed against hours?
Cece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.
This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.
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