Editorial Guidelines

  1. Welcome to SC Securely Classified

Thanks for using our services (“Services”). The Services are provided by Securely Classified, Inc., dba SC Securely Classified, an independent privately-held company in the state of Alabama with offices in Birmingham, DC, and New York, Nigeria. For information about how to contact SC Securely, please visit our contact page.

By using our Services, you are agreeing to the Terms of Service (“Terms”). Some of our Services allow you to submit or store content including but not limited to press releases. When you submit or store content to or through our Services, you must follow these editorial guidelines. Please read them carefully.

  1. Quality Content

All press releases submitted to SC Securely Classified must:

  • Be written in an acceptable press release format.
  • Avoid inflammatory language, hyperbole, and unattributed opinion, or invasion of someone’s privacy.
  • Be accurate and free of potentially libelous material.
  • Clearly identify opinions in quotes or attribute these statements as opinions belonging to the organization, and not state as fact.
  • Cite from a fact-checked news source.
  • Contain explicit attribution to an authorized source such as court documents.
  • Be free of content intended to harm or exact revenge upon an individual or group.
  • Not be threatening, abusive, menacing, offensive, violent, intimidating or otherwise objectionable.
  • Not make attempts to incite fear or panic, including but not limited to releases predicting the end of the world or terrorist attacks.
  • Not intend to harm or exact revenge upon an individual or group, which is defined as content that is deemed intended to: (i) incite, advocate or express hatred, bigotry, racism or gratuitous violence; (ii) promote personal opinions attacking an individual or group; (iii) maliciously affect a company’s stock; (d) stalk, defame, defraud, degrade, shame or victimize an individual or group.

SC Securely Classified will review your press releases before distribution to ensure that content is newsworthy, accurate and in an acceptable format. Attention to the following guidelines will help your press release get speedy approval and distribution on our platform.

All press releases must contain a clear, timely and newsworthy angle and be free of advertising hype, direct address, and spam. Press releases should incorporate the following features/qualities:

Newsworthy Content: Common news angles include timely information about a new product or service, business expansion or recent event, an organizational milestone like an anniversary or award or the issuance of a tip sheet or expert opinion on a topic currently in the news. The news announcement must be clearly stated in the headline.

Objective Tone:  SC Securely Classified press releases should be free of hype flags and direct address (i.e., “you,” “I,” “we,” etc.) unless used within a quotation from a spokesperson from a company or organization. Direct address is a flag that the content is an advertisement rather than a news release. Similarly, hype flags — exclamation points; hyperbolic product/service claims; descriptions of a product or service as AMAZING, or the use of upper-case characters to create emphasis — challenge the credibility of your news announcement.

Legally Accurate: SC Securely Classified requires a case number, court of record, complaint number or other sufficient documentation for all press releases referencing legal action or criminal matters.

Valid Contact Information: SC Securely Classified press releases must contain a valid contact name, phone number, and email address in the contact information.

Written Authorization: In certain cases, such as with network marketing companies, with the use of a stock ticker symbol, or with major corporate announcements such as (but not limited to) those related to M&A, SC Securely Classified may require written authorization from a company executive before a press release is approved for distribution. Independent representatives of network marketing companies, MLM or party plan companies must always obtain the express consent of the company’s executive.

Standard Length: SC Securely Classified press releases should be between 300 and 800 words. The length of your release directly affects its distribution and press releases that are overly short or long may have trouble being indexed in the search engines.

Standard Grammar and Spelling: SC Securely Classified press releases should be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Although jargon and acronyms are commonplace in natural language, make sure to include definitions for industry jargon so the average person can understand as well.

Formatting: SC Securely Classified press releases cannot contain HTML tags and other formatting such as non-standard characters, tables or forced line breaks. Releases also should not be written partially or entirely in all capital letters. Before submitting your release, please ensure all links in your release are fully functional. If your website is not available or fully functional at the time of editorial review, you will need to remove the links from your release or wait until the website is in operation to submit.

A Clear News Source: SC Securely Classified requires a clear news source to be identified in the headline. The news source is the company or organization that is issuing the release. If your agency, firm or business is distributing on behalf of a client, then the source would be the client’s company or organization’s name. It should also be clear how that company or organization relates to the news announcement.

Email Addresses: SC Securely Classified does not recommend the use of email addresses within the body of the press release. If an email address is included, our editorial team will modify the email address to be in this format Name (at) example (dot) com.

Accepted File Types: SC Securely Classified only accepts releases containing images with the following extensions: .jpeg, .gif, .png.

  1. Excluded Content

SC Securely Classified does not distribute:

Advertisements: If your press release is primarily aimed at selling a product or service, then it is an advertisement and not a press release. A good press release informs the media and the general public about a newsworthy topic. If the primary purpose of the document is to sell without any other newsworthy element, then it will be denied publication.

Sexually Explicit Content: To ensure the integrity of our service for all, SC Securely Classified does not accept content about sexually explicit material or products. Press releases should not contain references or links to explicitly sexual material, illegal material, or profane language. Please note that all 18-and-older websites are considered sexually explicit.

Link SPAM: Please limit your link count to 1 per 100 words. This policy is in place to protect the value of the links in a press release and the value of links within the SC Securely Classified network.

Reprints: News and feature images, articles, opinion columns, editorials or news stories from other websites or publications, especially if they are copyrighted, are not press releases.

Duplicate Content: A press release can only be distributed once through SC Securely Classified. In addition, a significant majority of each press release must be original content. Templated content is not permitted. Using copyrighted content from other sources is a violation of SC Securely Classified Terms of Service.

Third Party Legal Releases: SC Securely Classified only accepts press releases from law firms in which the firm is representing one of the parties in the case. SC securely Classified does not accept press releases regarding legal cases from third-party firms.

Intent to Harm: SC Securely Classified does not distribute content intended to harm or exact revenge upon an individual or group. This content is defined as anything deemed intended to: incite, advocate or express hatred, bigotry, racism or gratuitous violence; promote personal opinions attacking an individual or group; maliciously affect a company’s stock; or stalk, defame, defraud, degrade, shame or victimize an individual or group.

Written Authorization: In certain cases, such as with network marketing companies, with the use of a stock ticker symbol, or with major corporate announcements such as (but not limited to) those related to M&A, SC Securely Classified may require written authorization from a company executive before a press release is approved for distribution. Independent representatives of network marketing companies, MLM or party plan companies must always obtain the express consent of the company’s executive.

Unauthorized Ticker Symbols:  While we encourage our clients to use any ticker symbols, they are authorized to use in their press releases, we will need to receive the proper authorization from the source company for each ticker symbol used.

Online Gambling: SC Securely Classified does not publish releases that promote or link to online gambling, fantasy sports, and related sites that utilize a “pay-to-play” model for participation.

Payday or Short-Term Loans: SC Securely Classified does not publish releases that promote or link to payday, short term or other unsecured loan services.

Gun Topics: Press releases promoting the sale of handguns, rifles, shotguns, hunting guns, functioning antique guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns, bb guns, 3D-printed guns and any parts or component, whether finished or unfinished, that’s essential to or enhances the functionality of a gun.

Online Pharmaceuticals: SC Securely Classified does not accept releases from online pharmacies or websites which sell prescription drugs unless both the website and release explicitly state that a doctor’s prescription is required for purchase. In addition, pharmaceutical sites that are acceptable must be located within the United States or the United Kingdom.

Tobacco: Press releases promoting the sale of tobacco or any products containing tobacco, its consumption, or simulate tobacco smoking, e.g., vaping, e-cigarettes, herbal cigarettes.

Weight Loss Products: SC Securely Classified does not allow any weight loss products or ingredients.

Health Supplements: SC Securely Classified does not allow any health supplement content, irrespective of any claims of legality.

Sexual Enhancement Products: SC Securely Classified does not allow press releases which promote sexual enhancement products.

Easy Money Schemes: SC Securely Classified does not accept releases that promote make-money online, work from home programs or get-rich-quick schemes.

Stock Recommendations: SC Securely Classified does not accept releases that promote stock picks, newsletters, alerts, recommendations, advice or reviews. Publicly traded companies may still promote their own news.

Blackhat SEO Tactics:  SC Securely Classified does not allow releases to promote or link to Black Hat SEO tactics and services. These types of services include, but are not limited to, keyword stuffing, link buying, and selling, link stuffing, over-hyphenated domains, paid social media followers, and reputation management.

Viruses, Scripts, and Codes: SC Securely Classified does not accept releases that contain or link to any viruses, scripts, programs, web pages or any code that destroys, alters, or inhibits the operation of any computer systems.

  1. Legal News Guidelines

Press releases about legal cases and political matters can:

  • Contain fair comment of a political or public figure as long as this content does not cross over into libel territory
  • Express the opinion or official stance of an organization on a public issue or current event, however, opinions must be put into the form of a quote and properly attributed to the organization making the statement

Press releases about legal cases and political matters are not:

  • Announcements of intentions to file a court case against an individual or group.
  • Potentially libelous, which is defined as content that falsely depicts or implies a person: (a) has committed a crime or is guilty of illegal activity; (b) lacks mental capacity; (c) has engaged in immoral behavior; (d) has a loathsome disease.
  • Interpretations of legal proceedings: (a) all claims about events surrounding a court case need to be attributed to court documents; (b) until a case is decided, events cannot be interpreted, but only detail what court documents allege.