Though it comes at the end of a press release, the boilerplate should be regarded as a vital element, right up there with the headline and opening paragraph.
However, many PR pros treat a boilerplate like a box to be checked off—something they know they need to include, but don’t really put a lot of thought into.
It’s time to break that bad habit and craft a killer boilerplate that will get your press release noticed the next time you pitch.
What is a boilerplate?
At its core, a boilerplate is an “about us” statement that comes at the very end of a press release, briefly explaining to the reader who is pitching.
It may seem really easy to rip a version of your company bio from your website or most recent trade show flier and drop it into your press release.
The boilerplate is your chance to make a real first impression on your readers, showing them what your brand is all about and why they should care. It should be engaging and informative.
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Examples The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, and Consumer Products & Interactive Media. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $55.1 billion in its Fiscal Year 2017.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving more than 17 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2016 sales of $65.0 billion, Lowe’s and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,370 home improvement and hardware stores and employ over 290,000 people. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.
How to write an effective boilerplate
If the boilerplate of your press release is both your first impression as a brand and your closing statement, how can you make sure it leaves a lasting impression?
Here are three rules to live by when writing this unique company bio:
1. Set your brand apart.
Don’t just describe what your company does in your boilerplate or how long you’ve been in business. Provide a few recent accomplishments, showcase your company values, or explain what sets your brand apart from the competition.
2. Keep it concise.
It can be easy to get carried away while drafting your company boilerplate, but this should only be a small part of your press release, not the entire thing.
Keep your statement under 100 words. The more direct and to the point, the better.
3. Incorporate a call to action.
Provide a link to your website at the end of your boilerplate where readers can learn more or link to your social media channels if your social strategy is an important part of your campaign. If you’ve written a great press release and boilerplate, chances are that readers will want to know more.
Including a link to more content can help you keep your boilerplate short and concise while still providing an option to read further.
What would you add, Ragan/PR Daily readers?