A good press release always ends with a brief company overview known as a “boilerplate.” When you write a press release boilerplate for your company, it’s important to take the time to get the wording just right. Boilerplates typically have a very long shelf life, and shouldn’t require anything more than minor updates over time.
What Is a Boilerplate?
A press release boilerplate contains standardized language that concisely describes your company and product offerings to a reader who may have no prior knowledge of them. Think of it as the text equivalent of an “elevator pitch.”
The term originated among newspaper printers, whose printing presses used metal plates to transfer the copy to paper. A “boilerplate” contained a standard block that could be used again and again anytime the publisher needed to provide information about a particular person or organization.
When writing a press release boilerplate, remember that brevity is key. If you try to cover too much information, you may confuse or frustrate readers who just want a quick explanation as to what your company does. It’s better to save the complete details for your website, and include a link in your boilerplate that drives readers to the relevant web page.
The typical boilerplate header is “About [Company Name]” in bold text directly above the company overview. This is what journalists and readers will look for if they’re unfamiliar with your company and want to learn more about who you are and what you do.
Ideally, a company boilerplate should be no more than one paragraph. You should be able to provide a succinct company overview within three to four sentences. You may also add a closing sentence with a link to your website and/or social media profiles. There may be exceptions to the length limitations, such as for large, multinational corporations with numerous divisions. But best practices dictate that a single, concise paragraph is the optimal length.
When determining what information to highlight in your company’s press release boilerplate, you may wish to consider the following:
Where is your company headquartered? Journalists often check the boilerplate for a company’s location to determine if there is a local news angle.
When was your company founded? Depending on how long your company has been in business, you may wish to include the year it was founded to demonstrate its longevity.
Is your company public or privately held? This information may be of interest to potential investors. If public, include your stock ticker symbol.
Who is your target audience? While there’s no need to list precise demographics, your boilerplate should make it clear whether you’re targeting consumers, business-to-business, resellers, etc.
What is your unique value proposition? If there’s something tangible that distinguishes you from your competitors, be sure to feature it in your boilerplate. You can use words like “first,” “best,” or “only” if applicable—but make sure you have evidence to support those assertions. (If a competitor were to challenge your claims, it could result in negative publicity if you don’t have the facts to back them up.)
Has your business received any awards or accolades? If your company has been nationally recognized by a prominent publication or organization, include that in your press release boilerplate to build credibility and respect.
Do you operate in other countries? If your company has offices overseas, you may wish to add them to your boilerplate. If you have more than four locations, try grouping them together by region (Asia, Europe, South America, etc.).
Where can readers find more information? The best boilerplates drive readers to a website where they can find additional details. When listing a URL, be sure to include the leading “http://” so that it appears as a live link. (Some news sites strip text links out of press releases, with only full URLs rendering as a clickable link.) If your company has social media profiles on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin, include links to those, as well.
Your answers to the above questions may result in more than the recommended three to four sentences. If that’s the case, you’ll need to prioritize the most important points and edit your draft accordingly.
Optimize Your Boilerplate With Professional Writing and Editing Services From PR SyndicationYour company boilerplate is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of your press release. You’ll use it over and over in every news release your company issues, and you’ll find that it can also be useful whenever a brief overview is required, such as on social media profiles and partner websites. That’s why it pays to invest the time to get your press release boilerplate right the first time.
By following the guidelines above, you’ll be well on your way to developing a company boilerplate that adheres to journalistic standards. If you’d like help distilling your company’s many attributes into a concise and compelling press release boilerplate, you can tap into the expertise of PR Syndication’s highly experienced writers and editors.
When you order professional editing services through PR Syndication, you can ask for a boilerplate review. Our editors will let you know if your current boilerplate is as effective as it could be. They may recommend and apply minor tweaks to improve it, or they may suggest professional writing services if more substantive changes can elevate the overall quality and effectiveness of your boilerplate.
If you don’t yet have a standard company boilerplate, we can provide one for you when you order press release writing services or our more comprehensive Editor-in-Chief/SEO Writing Package. Simply include the answers to the above questions in your writing services work order. If you purchase the premium writing package, our Editor-in-Chief will interview you to obtain the necessary information.
To learn more about our professional writing and editing services, click on the links above or contact us with any questions you may have. We’d love to hear from you!