We've focused on all-things public relations throughout October—and, at the heart of PR writing is the age-old boilerplate. To close out the month, then, we’re breaking down all you need to know about a boilerplate, why you need one, and how to write an effective one. Read on for our top tips!
What is a boilerplate?
Ah, we thought you’d never ask! A boilerplate is simply a paragraph about your business that describes your organization. It’s typically found at the end of a press release (make sure you check out our post on how to write an effective press release if you haven’t already ).
Why do I need one?
Think of it as a your elevator pitch about your company—you always want to have one prepared. The good news is, because boilerplates are “evergreen” content, they never change. So, once you write one, you’re good to go. You never know when something newsworthy will happen with your company and you’ll need to send out a media release stat. Having a boilerplate written and ready to go allows you to easily paste it into the bottom of a press release.
How do I write one?
Writing a boilerplate about your company is relatively simple—though it does take some thought and attention to detail. Below are our top tips for writing an effective one:
- Make it clear and concise. Boilerplates are all about quantity over quality. Yours shouldn’t be longer than a short paragraph.
- Ensure it’s well written and free of grammar errors or typos. Though short, they’re also super important. If you’re not a great writer, consider hiring out for your boilerplate, or, at the very least, having someone who’s well-versed in PR writing edit yours.
- Include the basics, then amp it up a bit. Your boilerplate should include: the name of your company, who founded it (and when), the services/goods you offer, and the markets you serve. After you’ve touched on the basics, you can inject a small amount of energy and voice into the content by touching on company beliefs/mantras or other areas that showcase the personality of your brand. Keep in mind, a boilerplate goes on a press release, so you don’t want to get too creative or out-of-the-box with it—but including a line or two that breathes some energy into the content and conveys your brand voice is totally kosher (and a good idea for ensuring yours isn’t a total snoozefest).
- Make sure it’s evergreen. Your boilerplate should be “evergreen” content, meaning it should be written in a way that makes it continually relevant. You don’t want to include any copy that would date the content. While you may want to update yours every now and then to reflect major company changes, ideally your boilerplate should be a one-and-done kind-of thing. Get one written well, have a pro look over it, and then use that same boilerplate on all of your press releases.