Brittany Farquhar, senior client executive at Milk & Honey PR
Boilerplates are essential components of many PR materials – most often seen at the bottom of a press release. They are a mini “about us” section, so you might be asking yourself, what’s the big deal?
Their importance can be judged by the fact that they are normally the first piece of PR material we draft for a new client. A boilerplate is a snapshot of who the client is and what they do. Luckily, we’ve got more than 250 characters to play with, but brevity is important. Let’s get down into the detail of constructing a boilerplate.
One sentence, one message
It’s a challenge, but can you summarize the company in a single sentence?
Example: Milk & Honey PR is a small, energetic London and Sydney-based PR agency.
The sentence clearly states who we are, with added flavour using an appropriate adjective. In the next sentence we expand on this foundation by stating we work with ambitious growth companies.
Your business description
First sentence is the first step. Now you need to ask yourself three key questions.
- What does the company do?
- What’s the problem it solves?
- What makes the company different?
In answering you should keep the following in mind.
Add relevant business details
In your boilerplate, you will need to weave in relevant business details. These include HQ location, internal or external growth and credible award recognitions or certifications. If publicly traded, you will need the stock ticker symbol. Avoid using industry jargon as journalists will not always be in the know. Never assume!
Include a call–to–action
At the end of the boilerplate, you want to leave the reader with a call-to-action (CTA). There are a variety of calls to action, such as social media links, case study links, or to your latest website blog. Below is an example of a social media link boilerplate.
Add recognizable keywords
Another use for boilerplates is SEO building. In the Milk & Honey PR example above, we made sure to include the location and PR agency beside each other in a sentence. Most clients look at agencies based on geo-location first. We also work with high growth companies, which is also a keyword.
A great resource for keywords is your company’s LinkedIn analytics. What are the job titles your clients hold? Who do you consult? If a potential new client or consumer were to research a product/service, what would they type into Google? You may need to think backwards but adding these keywords will work wonders.
Sometimes media outlets or newswires will cover your whole press release, including the boilerplate. A nice boost on the search engine if you’ve locked in all the correct keywords.
The foundation of your PR materials
Boilerplates are the foundation of all your PR materials. They help your PR leads communicate your company’s key messages in an instant. No more than two brief paragraphs and the media is able to understand your company’s ins and outs. You control the message from start to finish.