Over the past several months, we’ve been publishing posts to help folks understand all of the tactical elements that go into a public relations campaign (If you’ve missed any, all are hyperlinked for easy clicking below).
Today’s tactic: the boilerplate.
In a land far away (approximately 2010), the boilerplate was the helpful text public relations practitioners provided at the end of a news release, media advisory, calendar listing or story pitch that explained what the company or organization was in a few concise sentences. It should also provide website and social media channels at its close so journalists can easily click to each site as needed.
Sadly, in my work as a member of the media in my spare time, I have to say that only about 10% of pitches and releases I get these days have a boilerplate. And worse – most websites have ZERO boilerplate or succinct “about us” pages these days either. To find a concise overview of a brand or organization these days, we media folks are usually forced to go to the brand’s Facebook page, click the “about us” and hope for the best.
From the media perspective, boilerplates are helpful as many of us have to take your pitch and pitch it ourselves to our producer, editor or content manager. Each of those pitches we have to develop need have the timeliness and content on point, but also needs a brief sentence about the organization.
Advice for the week: if you’ve stopped adding a company boilerplate to your media materials and/or website, BRING IT BACK. It is important. It gets used. It is helpful.