Boilerplates: What are they and why they’re important
If you’re not sure what a boilerplate is, you probably don’t work in Public Relations or Marketing. Fear not! AMJ will bring you up to speed in a snap.
A boilerplate is that block of standardized text at the very bottom of a press release. It’s essentially jazzed-up ‘About Us’ content for the purposes of media outreach (It has other applications, too. See below.). The flow of information is critical as it needs to quickly cut through the noise and appeal to an audience with lots of competition for its attention: the media. So, make the best and biggest impression with your boilerplate by hitting all the highlights fast.
-Boilerplates are designed to give journalists, editors, influencers, and the broader media set a primer on your company. If they are not already familiar with your business, they won’t know why–or even if–they should care about your newsworthy event and whether or not they should bother to learn more. It’s your job to convince them that, indeed, they should! Therefore, aside from your press release’s catchy header and subhead, your boilerplate needs to be informative, concise, and attention-grabbing (and retaining!). An effective boilerplate can help you score media coverage. A dull or vague one might kill a potential story.
-To make sure you’re communicating the value of your business with consistency and frequency, your boilerplate should grace the bottom of all press releases, emails, and digital newsletters.
-The ideal word count for a boilerplate? Somewhere between 50 and 100 words is the sweet spot. Keep it to the point, because, really, who has time? Not media folks, many of whom consume countless press releases daily, so you have to wow them–quickly.
-Include your company name, where it’s headquartered, what you do, and–of course–why you’re amazing (proof points, if you will). Here are some other details to consider adding: number of employees, global locations, names of awards won, and revenue (if you’re public). Definitely include one more more hyperlinks to your website, such as your homepage or a dedicated landing page that helps you track the reach and effectiveness of your press releases. Also, consider hyperlinks to your company’s social media accounts and perhaps a call-to-action with another hyperlink to your ‘contact us’ page or with the email and name of your company’s media spokesperson.
-Finally, as with so much these days, keywords are, well, key. Why, you ask? Because journalists and editors can more easily scan your boilerplate to determine whether your company is relevant to any stories they’re working on. Peppering your boilerplate text with a handful of keywords (the rest of your press release should have keywords, too) will also increase the likelihood of your press release showing up in any search results, which is what you ultimately want.
Need help writing a killer boilerplate? Contact AMJ to learn more about our comprehensive Public Relations services. Let’s work together!