Grade your Press Release – if you have the stomach for it

There’s a neat web service for checking to see if your Press Release is full of #!*! or if it carries standard elements such as contact numbers, URL’s and keywords that match up with links.

Word Cloud based on iPhone's Press Release in 2007It’s called Press Release Grader. A cut-and-paste site that grades your release instantly.

What I liked most about it was the visual rendering of a Word Cloud, which displays words larger if they are used more often etc. It also points to gobbledygook words –there were 7.

Since Apple’s iPhone 2.0 is all the rage this month, I used one of the first iPhone releases from January 2007 about ‘reinventing the phone.’ It got a grading of 44 out of 100, and had the readability level for a 3-year undergraduate.

You can see the report here.

I don’t think the value of this is to score high, or to gloat, but to get you to understand what you could be missing, or overdoing. What constitutes a perfect press release? No human or piece of software could tell you that. There are guidelines and must-haves that a ‘Grader’ like this will help you remember to use. But as my friend and author Linda VandeVrede reminds us, a press release should serve the one audience it is targeting: the media.

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