In a nutshell, a boilerplate is an organisations standard description, that is used repeatedly, without change.
However....it is something of a superhero amongst copy.
Let me explain:
Take Apple for instance. Hugely successful, massive organisation, with (quite possibly) one of the best boilerplate's I have read. It features on their website, on the bottom of every press release and seldom changes. It underpins their external communications and truly captures their essence. By all means take a look, its the last paragraph of this press release: apple press release
FedEx and Starbucks are another two great examples. The clever ones even manage to 'sound' like the organisation to which they refer, cue yet more brand recognition.
"It is the single piece of company writing that receives the broadest exposure."
Boilerplate's traditionally live on your, "About Us" page. They are also very popular on company brochures, case studies, white papers, sales sheets and, without fail, on every press release (usually its the last paragraph, sometimes the first). Quite often journalists will print just a few bullet points and then simply attach your boilerplate.
The clever, little boilerplate should ideally be one paragraph and no more than 100 words. These 100 words (or less) need to be chosen wisely. They should underpin all of your formal communications and manage to convey a factual and neutral tone, whilst simultaneously and subtly conveying how fabulous you are and what you are about.
For example, if a blogger writes about your organisation – they will attach a line or two, or maybe the entire thing.
Potential customers, employees, investors, they all head to the boilerplate for a sound summary of what you do and what you are about.
It shoulders quite a bit of responsibility - the humble boilerplate, display yours loud and proud.
As always - warmest regards,
I love writing, but writing isn't just words. It is the ability to stir feelings, spread your message and unite people.