February 5th, 2010
Last week, Bad Pitch Blog did a follow-up post about boilerplates, and how they are used and most often abused.
Boilerplates are intended to provide background information and/or perspective about the main subject(s) of a press release. In most cases, they focus on a company, but can also be utilized to describe an event, product, service, etc.
Oftentimes, there is a tendency to take a “kitchen-sink” approach to creating a boilerplate – meaning a lot of redundant information is included. Even some of our clients struggle to strike the right balance between being informative and verbose.
Press releases are written using an inverted pyramid style; placing the most important details and news-oriented information upfront and relegating the boilerplate at the very end. Even though it does not have premium placement, a boilerplate – when constructed effectively – can be a strategic asset to convey your core message.
The key is keeping it brief – ideally, no more than three sentences. Write a boilerplate the same way you would a tweet, only impose a three sentence maximum.
Be sure to make your boilerplate “smart” by adding links to a blog, demo, photos, video and social media. This will allow you to provide the reader with additional context, content and resources without bogging them down.