After completing this tutorial, you will know how to effectively use your PR Template to create
successful public relations strategies. The ultimate goal is to get your content published on
highly valuable websites so you can influence the right people with your products and services.
You’ll also learn how the various tabs and columns in the template can help you set and track
linking goals, create reports, and create a schedule for your weekly, monthly or yearly PR
This tutorial will be most effective if you open and view the PR Template while reading through
USING THE TEMPLATE
Using this Template effectively means understanding the various tabs and columns that make it
work. We’ll discuss the schedule tab at the end in more detail, as it will make more sense once
you know about the other tabs.
High Valued Points Tab
This is where you’ll enter the websites that you want to influence along with details about each
site. You’ll spend most of your time in this area of the PR Template, and everything else
revolves around the data in this section.
Column A: Media Outlets – Here you will add the website URL of the site or person you want to influence. You can separate these into groups if you like.
Column B: Value – This column gives a value to the site in Column A. The data in this column is calculated automatically, so you don’t need to enter anything here. However, you will eventually sort on this column to be sure you’re reaching out to your most valuable sites.
Column C: Category – List the name of the industry in which the business resides.
Column D: Tactic – How do you plan to influence that website–editorial pitch, news pitch, connect socially, write a guest blog? Add this information so you’ll remember what content you want to produce.
Column E: Editorial Calendar – For high-value sites such as magazines or newspapers, this is very important information. Many publications list what they will be writing annually, and you can have more influence on them if you know what they’ll be writing about during the year. So take the time to find the Editorial Calendar link and add it to this column. Even if you have hundreds of sites on your template, you’ll find this information quickly and easily.
Column F: Last Contacted – Type in the date you last contacted the site in Column A.
Column G: Notes – What did you discuss the last time you contacted the site? Also list the date of contact and the method of contact (phone, email). Hit “Control/Enter” to create another line if needed.
Columns H/I/J: Name/Email/Phone – Fill these columns out completely and add links if you have them.
Columns K/L/M: Registration Information – Some sites will allow (or require) you to register to them. If so, list your username, password and profile URL in these columns.
Columns N/O: Examples – List the URLs of other sites who are already doing what you’re trying to do. This would include competitors who have links within an article on a website you find valuable. It’s extremely important information, since examples can show you what pitch might be successful. Because the end goal is to influence a site in some way and get your content or link published there, you must have examples. If you can’t find any examples for a particular site it shouldn’t be on the template
Columns S Through Y – We’re jumping to these columns because they are the next logical step in the process, even though they’re out of order. The information for these columns comes from Open Site Explorer (OSE), and you can copy and paste the information from OSE to the appropriate columns in the template. This data is important for assigning value to a website.
Columns P/Q/R: Numerical Value Assessments – These three columns are automatically multiplied to calculate the value of a website.
Column P: Ease Value – From 1 to 5, how easy is it to influence this site? (Five easiest.) For example, “Info Week” is a large media outlet, and it’s probably difficult to contact a person about your company so you might rate this site a 2 for
ease of influence. However, another website might actually invite you (and others)
to write and publish content on their space, so you could give that site a higher
Column Q: Estimated Value – You determine this number from the information in
Open Site Explorer that is pasted into Columns S through Y, as discussed above.
This includes how many people have linked to this site, how many have liked it on
Facebook, etc. The numbers for Domain Authority and Total Links are the most
important, so if these numbers are high you would set a high estimated value in
Column Q, perhaps a 4. Again, the scale is 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest.
Column R: Bonus Value – We’ll discuss this in more detail in the section below on
the Bonus Key. Because this column is multiplied with Columns P and Q to create a
numerical value for a website, you must always have the number one listed here.
However, the number can change as you’ll see below, and this will affect the
overall value of a site.
Low Valued Points Tab
These sites are literally begging people to contribute content in any form. They will tell you
exactly what they’re looking for and provide guidelines, so there’s much less research involved
than with the High Valued sites.
The columns are exactly the same as in the High Valued Tab with the exception of three
Column E: Submit Link – Here you would list any links with details on how to submit content
to a site, such as writing guidelines, examples, etc. When you’re ready to create your
content, you won’t have to search it out. Just come to this area on the PR Template.
Column H: Paid – Will it cost me money to put content on this site? How much? Put all of
that information in this column.
Column I: Do Follow: – Is the link I’m obtaining going to be valuable or not? A quick Google
search on the term “Do Follow” will provide more details on how to tell if Google thinks a
site is valuable enough to follow by finding this term in the page code. In the long run, this is
not as important as the other information you’ll list, so you won’t lose anything if you skip
this step. It’s just one more way to assess value.
Bonus Key Tab
The bonus number is placed in Column R and multiplied with Columns P and Q to provide a
numerical assessment value for a website.
List your various site classifications in the Bonus Key area and then determine their bonus point
value. For example, a large media outlet might get a bonus value of 3, while a forum site would
be a 1. Put another way, getting published on CNN (a large media outlet) would be better than
getting 1,000 links from being published anywhere else. So you’d give the classification of
media outlets a higher bonus value.
The Bonus Key helps you to remember that you don’t want all of your links to come from just
any old sites with information. You want to publish content on highly valued sites like media
outlets and blogs, so in the Bonus Key you’ll give higher points to these valuable site
Don’t change your key once you’ve set it up or things could get confusing.
Once you decide on the Bonus Key for each site classification, add it in Column R (Bonus Value)
next to each website that matches that classification. Your total site value in Colum B on the PR
Template will then change to reflect the Bonus Key multiplier. After you’ve done this for several
sites, you’ll be able to spot those with the higher values and can attempt to influence those
If you don’t feel you can set up the Bonus Key values, then just leave all the numbers set at 1.
This section allows you to schedule how and when you’ll contact certain websites. By focusing
on the value points (i.e. links) for each site, you can set goals for link building (aka publishing
content on sites that will link back to you.)
As you plan for the upcoming year, you might decide that you need at least 100 points (links) a
month from highly valued sites and maybe 50 points from lower valued sites. This means that
every month you will need to influence, or publish content on, four sites with a value of 25 or
better to reach your goal. You can then calculate this out for the entire year.
Below this information, you will copy the URLs of the sites you plan to influence from Column A
of the PR Template as well as their point values (from Column B) and site classifications (from
the Bonus Key). This will keep a running total so you can see how close you are to making your
monthly goal and can adjust your tactics accordingly. Perhaps you will pull up the editorial
calendars and use them to strategize.
If used consistently, the schedule section can be a very valuable tool.
Report Tabs (Monthly/Yearly)
The PR Template allows you to create reports that keep track of progress, whether you’re doing
the work yourself or have outsourced it. Choose whatever format works best for you.
Information for the first four columns will come directly from the High and Low Value Points
Tabs on the PR Template. Simply copy and paste the appropriate information in each column.
The remaining columns will use information from Open Site Explorer (OSE) as explained
As a final step, take the URL of each article (or other content type) published on one of your
high value sites and load that into Open Site Explorer. If you’ve published this very recently, you
might not see a great deal of information. What does show up will tell you the value of the
specific page you wrote: how many people like it, are tweeting it, are linking to it. Enter these
numbers from OSE into the Reports section of the PR Template in the appropriate columns.
Creating reports is a great way to know just where you stand in your overall public relations
Your PR Template is a fantastic tool to help you successfully track and manage your public
relations efforts. Here is a quick summary of the important sections:
- High Value Points: Large media outlets & bloggers
- Low Value Points: Easy to influence websites
- Bonus Key: Multiply the value of links
- Schedule: Plan out how many links you need
- Monthly Reports: Report on links obtained monthly
- Annual Reports: Report on links obtained yearly
Although the information in this tutorial might feel overwhelming, just keep at it. Try adding in
your own information as you go through each step to see how it would work for your specific
needs, and you’ll eventually have a great tool that can help expand your online business
presence. Feel free to contact us via our website with any questions you have.