HubSpot’s Press Release Grader – Rate Your Press Release

Press Release Grader HubSpot’s Press Release Grader is a free tool that aims to help you improve your press releases.

You may remember HubSpot from their Website Grader tool, which I reviewed back in April (I was late to that one – it’s been around for months).

Press Release Grader is a simple, free tool that analyzes your press releases and gives you some ideas on how to improve them. It’s easy to use – just copy & paste your press release into a text box, enter your company name and website URL, give your email address and you’re on your way.

Analyzing Your Press Release

Press Release Grader looks at a bunch of areas of your release:

  • Overall Score – out of 100
  • General Statistics – word count, link count and readability (by grade level)
  • Content Suggestions – contact information (phone/email), whether you include an ‘about’ section for your company and a link to the company website, an “end of content” marker, gobbledygook words
  • Link Analysis – how far down the page each link occurs, the target page title and how your anchor text matches up with that, whether you include links featuring relevant keyword text
  • Word Cloud – showing how frequently you use key words

Is It Useful?

I used Press Release Grader to analyze four releases that I’ve written, resulting in scores from 71 to 87. I also plugged-in one other random release, which got a 21 (ouch!). I did consistently get some error messages with that release, but it didn’t seem to hinder the results for that release and the others all worked fine.

A few particularly useful things from my perspective:

  • The gobbledygook checker is a nifty little tool for making sure that no jargon slips through (I’m happy to say there were none in my releases)
  • The link analysis is useful for making sure you use relevant text in your anchor text – something that may slip through the cracks sometimes
  • The word cloud helps to ensure that you focus on the right things throughout your release – if your release is about fishing, you’d better be sure that “fishing” appears prominently in your word cloud.

Suggestions For Improvement

I was a little perturbed by one thing – the format of the end of content marker isn’t limited to three pound signs (###). Canadian Press style is for “-30-“. Of course, that’s not a problem unless the final score really matters to you, but it might be nice to have other marker formats included.

One other quibble – it’s a little search engine optimization-heavy. Much of the page is taken up with pointers on positioning and setting-up your links. For me, it would be much more useful to take a closer look at the grammar, sentence structure, etc, of the release. Something like a percentage of sentences that are way too long, with links to each of those sentences, would be more useful for me.

Still, it’s important to remember that this is just one way of looking at your press release. As the tutorial video (below) says, “…remember, Press Release Grader is a piece of software, not a human being, so it might not always give a perfect evaluation of your press release.”

Press Release Grader isn’t a silver bullet solution. That’s fine. It is, however, a useful tool to kick-start a little thinking around improving your press release.

Note: Press Release Grader is currently in beta, and the company is looking for feedback on the tool.

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.