5 ways to beef up your boilerplate

You only have a few sentences at the end of a press release to describe your company. Here’s how to get the most out of them.

Would you believe me if I said the boilerplate was one of the most important parts of your press release?

Think about it: You use this chunk of text in every press release you send out.

When you distribute press releases on a regular basis, your boilerplate goes out to hundreds of places all over the Internet. It’s the paragraph that concludes every press release, making a strong statement about what your company does and what makes it different. It’s also the paragraph journalists will refer to and borrow information from when they write about your company.

You have to get the boilerplate right.

Here’s what you can do to write a better boilerplate:

1. Nail down the important facts.

When was your company founded? Where is it located? What does it do? How big is it? What’s the website address?

Make sure your boilerplate includes the most important facts so that if someone reading your press release doesn’t know anything about your company, he can read that statement and get a better idea of who you are.

2. Focus on your strengths.

Your boilerplate shouldn’t read like ad copy. (After all, this is a press release.) But your boilerplate is a statement that positions your brand. It’s important to describe your strengths and selling points. Just make sure to avoid hype or exaggerated claims.

3. Cut the jargon.

Don’t fill your boilerplate with corporate speak and meaningless jargon. If your boilerplate includes terms that sound like the Web Economy B.S. Generator created them (a hilarious tool, by the way), you’re doing it wrong. Remember, not everyone understands your industry-specific lingo. Choose your words wisely.

4. Make it search-engine friendly.

Since you probably distribute your press releases across the Web, it’s a good idea to optimize your boilerplate. Choose one or two of the most important keywords and include them in your “about us” paragraph. Just don’t go overboard with stuffing keywords. You want to optimize your boilerplate without anyone realizing it contains keywords.

5. Keep it short.

A good boilerplate is short and to the point—a power-packed paragraph. Your boilerplate should be about three to five sentences long and have fewer than 100 words. Include the most important information and eliminate anything that doesn’t need to be there.

5. Check it regularly.

Once you have a solid boilerplate, you’ll slap it at the end of every press release. However, as the months and years roll by and your company grows and changes, check your boilerplate to make sure it still applies to where your brand is today.

How is your company’s boilerplate?

Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of eReleases and blogs at PR Fuel, where a version of this article originally appeared.

Topics: PR


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