Effective Press Releases
Great press releases have important elements that make them effective. These elements include headings, body paragraphs, and boilerplates. Even though boilerplates may be overlooked by those new to issuing press releases, they play a crucial role. It's essential not to send out a press release without a great boilerplate.
A great press release heading is designed to grab attention and ensure that your news stands out. Keep the heading focused, use an active voice, and include impressive statistics if possible. If a journalist's attention is caught by the heading, they will proceed to read the body paragraph.
The body paragraph of a press release provides journalists with detailed information about the news. It expands on the headline and helps journalists understand why the news is significant. It provides all the necessary details for journalists to share the news with their readers. For example, if the headline announces a great new hire who will take the company to the next level, the body paragraph explains who the hire is, why they are exceptional, and why they are a perfect fit for the company.
A great boilerplate gives important details about the company behind the news. When your press release becomes a press report, it will likely include some information about your company. The boilerplate provides this information. If you omit a company boilerplate, it becomes more difficult for journalists to write a good story. If it's too challenging, they may decide to pass on your news, even if it's great. Therefore, as mentioned before, never send out a press release without a great boilerplate.
What is a boilerplate press release?
A boilerplate press release doesn't have specific rules that outline the elements that must be included. The key is to provide information that presents your company in a positive light.
Many brands are competing for media attention. They all achieve milestones, make new hires, and experience successes. When media outlets decide which news is most newsworthy, the information in the boilerplate can make a difference. Make sure to position your brand as credible and deserving of press coverage by including a great boilerplate.
Here are some elements to consider including:
Your products or services: In the body of your release, you may mention that you are a fintech company. Provide some additional details in the boilerplate about the fintech products and services you offer. If you have a flagship product, include it. If you have a unique area of expertise, explain it.
Your clients: Sometimes, having high-profile clients can grab a journalist's attention. If you have notable clients, list them in the boilerplate. The number of clients you serve can also be attention-grabbing. If you don't have impressive clients to mention, adding a qualifier can increase its value. For example, "Less than a year after launching, our brand has already served over 500 clients in 11 countries."
Your awards: Don't hesitate to share information about awards you have won. Establishing your credibility is one of the goals of a boilerplate, and awards help to achieve that.
Your vision: While keeping it brief, it's good to inject some heart into your boilerplate. Even if it's just including your tagline, provide information that explains why you do what you do, especially if it sets you apart from others.
A call to action: Including links in your boilerplate is beneficial. These links can direct readers to your website, your CEO's LinkedIn profile, or your social media accounts. Instead of simply listing the links, package them as a call to action. For example, "Click here for background information on our CEO" or "Click here to watch a product highlight reel on our YouTube channel."
Where should the company boilerplate be placed in the press release?
The boilerplate paragraph should always be placed at the bottom of a press release. You don't want it to interfere with or distract from the information that drives the release. After the heading and body have captured attention and provided the necessary details, journalists or editors will turn to the boilerplate for additional information to supplement their story.
You may be tempted to include information in the body of your release that is also present in your boilerplate. Resist that temptation. The boilerplate is intended to provide supplementary information so that you can focus the body on the news. Journalists know to refer to the boilerplate to gather the necessary information about your company.
Why is it sometimes called a boilerplate template?
Once you have developed a boilerplate, it should become a standard copy that appears in every press release. Essentially, it becomes a template that you can copy and paste into your releases.
While it's important to avoid including outdated information, such as old statistics or links, you shouldn't update the boilerplate with every press release. Keeping the boilerplate consistent helps in conveying a unified message to the press and aids in search engine optimization (SEO), as we will discuss shortly. Set a reminder to review your boilerplate every quarter to see if any updates are needed. Otherwise, set it and forget it.
What kind of boilerplate press release copy do journalists love?
Just like the rest of the release, your boilerplate copy should be easy to read. Bullet points can be an effective way to present information.
Keep the boilerplate short, aiming for less than 100 words. Remember that your target audience is journalists who are seeking additional details for an article, not potential clients or customers you are trying to sell to. Avoid using industry-specific jargon that may be unfamiliar to those outside your field.
You can think of the boilerplate as an executive summary of your company. It should be more than a tweet but less than a full pitch deck. To quote Mary Poppins, "Enough is as good as a feast."
Should you consider SEO and keywords when writing company boilerplates?
Press releases are often distributed through press release distribution services, which allow them to reach a wide audience with minimal effort.
These newswire services distribute the releases to journalists, influencers, and both traditional and digital media outlets. Since these services often post releases on online platforms, they can serve as low-tier media placements for your brand. Therefore, addressing SEO in your release can help increase your brand's visibility.
To take advantage of SEO, include relevant keywords in your boilerplate press release.
For example, if you want to rank among crypto companies that prioritize sustainability, make sure to include those keywords in your boilerplate. As your press release gets shared across various outlets, relevant keywords can boost brand awareness by improving your search engine rankings.
Where can I find examples of boilerplate press releases?
Newswires like AP News, Business Wire, and Yahoo! Finance are excellent sources to find examples of press releases from various companies. Click on a few releases and examine their boilerplates.
If a global, well-known company has issued a press release, you can use it as a model for creating your own. Start by looking at companies in your industry, but don't limit yourself to just that.
For instance, a recent press release from Intel on Yahoo! Finance included the following boilerplate:
"Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is an industry leader, creating world-changing technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore's Law, we continuously work to advance the design and manufacturing of semiconductors to help address our customers' greatest challenges.
By embedding intelligence in the cloud, network, edge, and every kind of computing device, we unleash the potential of data to transform business and society for the better. To learn more about Intel's innovations, visit newsroom.intel.com and intel.com."
If these examples don't inspire you, continue exploring until you find one that resonates with you. If the idea of tackling this project feels overwhelming, consider seeking assistance. A reputable public relations firm can help you develop a boilerplate that provides media outlets with all the necessary information to tell your story effectively.