align: left;”>Most companies have a standard boilerplate they use at the end of each press release. In general, the boilerplate is a concise paragraph describing the business mentioned in the release. As companies spend more and more time incorporating social media into their overall marketing and communication plans, it would be a missed opportunity not to leverage this area of your press release.
A “boilerplate” actually dates back to the late 1800s, when manufacturers of steam boilers attached a metal plate so people would know who made the boiler. Your company's boilerplate is likely to be used in this day as a digital “stamp” for your company.
It's essential that your boilerplate be strong, up to date and concise. This little paragraph packs a load of information that can help drive traffic to your social media channels and help optimize for SEO, wether you're blasting the release to reporters or posting on your company blog (for guidelines, reference our post Press Releases as Blog Posts).
Crafting optimized press releases is imperative in the Digital age. David Meerman gives a relevant example in his book The New Rules of Marketing and PR, “Something like 25,000 press releases have been sent to me, resulting in no stories. Instead, I think about a subject that I want to cover in a column or an article, and I check out what I can find on blogs and through search engines.” His comments illustrate how much of a resource the press release has become for reporters. It's almost backwards from the old way press releases were used, as stories were written off a press release. Now it is more likely a reporter or consumer will discover your particular story as they research what to write about. The stakes are higher, so including the correct key words and links has become even more important.
If you have a great social media presence, it should be emphasized. Including social media channels in your boilerplate means one less step for those reading it. It's always best to make things as simple and time efficient for your audience as possible, as they are likely weeding through hundreds of press releases to get a story. Here's a great example of a social media optimized boilerplate:
This example has used not only links but their company name, repeatedly, to describe their social media sites. They offer options to easily learn more about what they do if there is interest beyond the boilerplate. Help a reporter out by giving them full access to your social media channels. Including your social media platforms in your boilerplate is a simple way to increase your social reach.