Press release scorecard

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Writing and issuing press releases but not getting the results you want? Try this Press Release Scorecard to identify the issues that could be holding you back and preventing you from getting the …

Writing and issuing press releases but not getting the results you want? Try this Press Release Scorecard to identify the issues that could be holding you back and preventing you from getting the profile your business deserves.

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  • 1. Struggling to get journalists to take notice of your press releases? Not sure why your press releases aren’t getting the results you want? Annoyed that competitors are getting all the media attention and profile? Identify what could be stopping you from getting the profile your business deserves with the Press Release Scorecard, overleaf. Find the problems, then fix them.
  • 2. Press Release Scorecard Answer the following questions to identify what you can do to improve your press releases. Once you know where the gaps are you can fix them. Yes No Don’t know 1. Do you have a system in place for identifying possible news stories? 2. Do you have a calendar in place for your press release announcements? 3. Do you collaborate with customers on news announcements? 4. Do you collaborate with suppliers on news announcements? 5. Do you ‘create’ news stories when you don’t have any obvious news stories i.e. do or produce something that is newsworthy? 6. Do you research the press and media to target for each news announcement? 7. Do you issue your press releases yourself, rather than using a press release distribution service? 8. Have you checked the deadlines your key journalists are working to? 9. Do you contact journalists in advance of issuing your press release to talk to them about the story? 10. Do you monitor key journalists to track what they are writing/reporting on? 11. Do you monitor key journalists to track how they use social media? 12. Do you ensure that all your press releases are dated and for immediate release or with a clear embargo? 13. Are your contact details presented clearly on any press release and also in any accompanying email? 14. Do you provide out of office hours contact details when issuing your press release? 15. Does your press release adhere to the standard guidelines expected by journalists? 16. Have you used a short, punchy title for your press release to capture the attention of journalists? 17. Have you tested your press release to ensure that there is strong human interest in your news story? 18. Have you answered the who, what, why, where, how and when questions in your press release? 19. Have you captured the essence of your story in the first paragraph so that if that alone was re-produced it would tell the story? 20. Have you used the ‘inverted pyramid’ structure for your news release, with the most important information upfront and then further information provided further on? 21. Have you ensured that your press release sticks to the facts and leaves opinion for any quotes? 22. Have you included a quote in your press release from a third party? 23. Do you have photography or visuals available to help support your news stories?
  • 3. Yes No Don’t know 24. Have you written a version for online use, specifically, that includes keywords and links? 25. Have you looked at your news story to identify how you can tweak it to produce tailored versions for local, regional, specialist, consumer or national press and media? 26. Have you stated clearly where your news story finishes by using the word ‘ends’? 27. Have you ensured that any additional information or explanation is included in the notes to editors rather than in the body of the press release? 28. Have you included a brief paragraph about your business, including a link to the website, in the notes to editors section of your press release? 29. Have you checked your press release to ensure that sentences use 25 words or fewer? 30. Have you edited your press release to take out any unnecessary words or phrases that don’t add to the facts of the story? 31. Does your press release fit onto two pages of A4 at the maximum, with double or 1.5 spacing? 32. Do you have a plan in place for promoting your news story after you have issued it to key press and media i.e. on your website, through social networks, via blogs and comments? 33. Do you have a monitoring system in place to pick up coverage of your press release? 34. Do you have a system in place for sharing your news announcements with customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders? 35. Have you identified what angles in your news story might provide scope for themes or ideas for feature articles that you can approach journalists about? Each ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’ response has identified an area that could be undermining the effectiveness of your press releases. More than 10 ‘no’ and ‘don’t know’ responses and your press release activities need swift review and action. Contact me now to address the issues that are holding you back. Contact me via: or © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013