The main aim of a press release is to demonstrate to the journalist that your pitch offers novel value to their audience and to get that across clearly and concisely.
Journalists are usually time-poor and aren’t always able to read the hundreds of emails blocking up their inboxes each day. So, clarity is of the essence.
If the journalist you’ve pitched is interested – and there are ways of increasing the odds this will happen – they will also look at the boilerplate for further information about your company.
The boilerplate is a summary of your business – including major achievements, milestones and social handles/website links. It goes below the main bulk of the press release and should be easily adapted to other communication materials.
There are dos and don’ts when writing boilerplates, but at the same time it’s key to bear in mind that the boilerplate should be written in a way that reflects your company’s values.
5 examples of different types of boilerplates you can use for your press releases
Exhibit A – The Sales Pitch Boilerplate
Here’s a boilerplate recently put out on a DocuSign press release:
“DocuSign helps organizations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act on, and manage agreements. As part of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, DocuSign offers eSignature: the world’s #1 way to sign electronically on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time. Today, more than 560,000 customers and hundreds of millions of users in over 180 countries use DocuSign to accelerate the process of doing business and to simplify people’s lives.”
As you can see, the DocuSign boilerplate acts as an excellent sales pitch. The boilerplate highlights DocuSign’s key selling point – the “world’s #1 way to sign electronically on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time.”
And by mentioning user numbers, countries and customers, the boilerplate neatly sums up DocuSign’s successes to date. The proof is in the numbers, as they say.
Exhibit B: The Mission-Focused Boilerplate
“Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company based in Ventura, California. A certified B-Corporation, Patagonia’s mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. Since 1985, Patagonia has dedicated 1 per cent of sales each year to environmental causes.“
It’s easy to have a mission when you, well, have a really good mission. And Patagonia does and makes sure it’s emphasised in the boilerplate.
Exhibit C: The “Wacky” Boilerplate
“FULL DISCLOSURE: We didn’t have time to write a full press release because there’s someone screaming MOM, MOOM, MOOOM and another with a diaper blowout we’re attending to, so watch the video and consider yourself armed and ready for the realities – then you’ll be back to the shareable sliver of parenthood faster than you can say episiotomy.”
Exhibit D: The First Person Boilerplate
“Founded By Tony Aly, DomainerSuite Is A Canadian Software Company Engaged In Website Building Since 2015. Tony Is A Longtime Web Developer And Internet Marketer Who Has Specialized In SEO Since 1999. Enlisting The Help Of Senior Computer Scientist Sergio Abrahao, Tony And Sergio Collaborated To Create An AI Platform That Helps Users Boost SEO Stats Through Research And Targeted Searches. After Two Years Of Extensive Development And Beta Testing, 1AISEO Was Born”
Exhibit E: The Detailed Guide Boilerplate
“A free Print & Play PDF version of FARCE can be downloaded from our Kickstarter page, or from http://bit.ly/2aVuq0s
• 568 cards (366 Farce Fragments, 162 Farce Words & 40 Farce Connectors)
• Suitable for ages 17+
• Number of players: 2 to 12
• Play time: 30 to 90 minutes
• Play Permutations: Virtually infinite (more permutations than CAH)
• Printers & Publishers: AdMagic, Inc.
• Price of Printed & Boxed Game (including free shipping to the US and UK): GBP26.00 (approx. US$34.00)”