A hundred words of boilerplate text might be the most important written content in your organisation. But do you really have the time, the writing skills and the inclination to spend hours crafting and polishing boiler plate text that conveys your message at the end of press releases and other business communications? Or will you hire a professional copywriter to do the job for you?
Boiler plate text dates back to the late 1800s or early 1900s, when reusable printing plates for high volume reproduction of standard advertisements and syndicated newspaper columns were made of steel. Now, boilerplate (or boilerplate content) means any standard text block that can be pasted into documents to avoid retyping.
In PR writing, boilerplate press release copy is the c. 100-word text block at the end of a press release that succinctly captures the essence of an organisation and what it does. Come to think about it, boiler plate text is like the verbal elevator pitch we use at business networking events. It’s a compelling positioning statement, covering the who, what, where, when and why of your organisation. Typically this includes the following:
Here's an example for my business:
Since 2006, Cheltenham-based Al Hidden has helped organisations and individuals in Gloucestershire, surrounding counties and elsewhere in the UK with business copywriting and editing. Al crafts the marketing, PR, technical and online copy his clients don’t have the time, skills or inclination to do themselves. He’s driven by ‘getting vital copywriting off your to-do list’. He does this with a unique blend of marketing and writing experience, a love of writing and commitment to excellent service and value. Al’s work adds value for clients and helps to define and differentiate them. To ensure the highest quality, Al never employs, or subcontracts work to, other writers. For more information, please visit www.alhidden.com
For online SEO use, boilerplate copy may contain researched keywords or key phrases. It may also include specific important metrics – even stock exchange abbreviations if it’s a publically quoted company.
Like good press releases, boilerplate text is usually written in the third person (e.g. ‘XYZ Ltd does this and that.’). It contains verifiable facts and studiously avoids non-essential industry jargon. Ideally it will be one or two paragraphs long, and contain no more than 100 to 125 words. Your reader has to ‘get it’ first time. Clear language and short descriptive words are essential.
As well as your main company boilerplate text, you may require different wording for different brands. And as well as your standard ‘neutral version’ you may need another version written in your brand tone of voice. Writing 100 words of boilerplate text sounds simple. In practice, it usually involves many iterations before the optimum text is agreed – especially if your organisation requires multiple versions for different brands or subsidiaries.
Why tie up your precious time when I can take your brief and write your content – while you get on with the things that you do best for your organisation. Professionally crafted boiler plate text will work hard for your organisation over and over again.
For your free boilerplate text writing consultation, please call 01242 520 573 or email me
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