Online tool rates press releases’ readability

Wondering whether your press release is ready to bombard reporters with? A new website will score your prose. The reviews for the software are mixed, however, among PR pros.

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Unsure about whether that press release of yours is up to snuff? Why not run it through an automated Web tool and see how you score?

That’s the logic behind a new site, Better PR Writer, which offers an online tool for measuring the readability of your press release.

Paste your press release into the form, and punch the “submit” button to test your publicity writing smarts. The tool is the brainchild of Matt Swayne.

“From my own experience, press releases are still important to marketing and PR campaigns, but are just one piece in a suite of content contributions to campaigns,” Swayne writes. “Releases are often written by junior writers, or—as I am finding out as a research writer at Penn State—by people who have no PR or writing experience.

“What Better PR Writer will do—hopefully—is set an automatic threshold for releases to attain before they are entered into the distribution pipeline.”

The tool also offers advice such as this: “Use simple sentences when possible. The average reader spends only a few seconds making a decision to read the rest of your release, or not.”

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