by Team Yakkety Yak December 06, 2017
A boilerplate is the standard description of a company and a key building block to a developed brand identity. How can one paragraph—and it should only be about one paragraph—carry so much weight? Not only is it central to a company’s “about” page, the boilerplate will also often appear in press releases, brochures, white papers and all other company literature. Now that’s a big deal.
Many people will be reading your boilerplate, from journalists trying to write about your work to potential clients or partners scouting you. For some of them, your boilerplate is the only content they’ll reference to get a feel for what your company is all about.
To write an effective company boilerplate, you want to clearly and concisely articulate who you are, what you do, and why a reader should care. Facts like where the company is located, when it was started, how big it is and what an ideal client looks like are important. Compelling data and context that positions you in the market should also be included. Make sure to avoid industry jargon that only subject matter experts like yourself can understand: A boilerplate should speak to all audiences.
Positioning can help you stand out from your competitors, but its primary purpose is to reinforce your brand identity. Your company boilerplate is a great opportunity to influence what others say about you, since journalists rely on it when they’re reporting. Do you want to be known for being the largest, first, or best in the industry? Do you want people to reference your corporate social responsibility? This is your chance to put something on your website and in your marketing materials that has the power to position your brand exactly how you’d like it to be seen.
A boilerplate also serves your company internally, because employees will refer to it to gauge your company’s tone. Having a consistent viewpoint in every document makes the company look more cohesive and allows an audience to become familiar with you. Reviewing the boilerplate regularly can serve as a reminder of what’s important or help establish talking points.
Writing a boilerplate is also a useful exercise in learning how to talk about your company. It forces you to think about the bigger picture and pinpoint exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. Ask yourself how you want to be positioned, what you’re most proud of, what you want to be known for: then begin writing.
These are big questions, and distilling all these details into a tidy five-sentence paragraph might be daunting. But we’re here to help. Let’s YAK—we’ll work together to craft a boilerplate that gets people talking about your company the way you intended.