Press release - how to construct the boilerplate, media contact and backgrounder?

At the beginning of a project, it is a good idea to prepare information about the company that is universal and useful when sending out any press release. A boilerplate and a contact for the media is an absolute must have for every press release. It is also worth preparing a backgrounder. 

Boilerplate is a short piece of information, about 8-10 sentences, about the company. It is a good idea to include the full name of the company, the date it was established, as well as the scope of its activities - i.e. what it does and what it has achieved. In this way, a journalist who reads the press materials of a given company for the first time can obtain the most important information very quickly. Another important element of the boilerplate is the organisation's website address. It is worth linking to it so that the journalist can easily be redirected to the company's website. The boilerplate is a fixed part of every press release and we place it at the end of the release. It is the last paragraph of the material, usually omitted from the publication by journalists. It is important to remember to update the details, especially the dates, but also the achievements.

Another regular feature of any press release is media contact, the contact details of the company's media representative, i.e. the PR person, which are placed under the boilerplate. In case of questions, the journalist can easily contact the person dedicated to media contact. In the footer, the name of the company representative in the media, his or her position, the name of the PR agency if he or she is not an employee of the organisation, an e-mail address and a telephone number should be included.

The longest and most detailed description of the company is backgrounder (background release). This is comprehensive information about a company, usually 1-2 pages long. The backgrounder provides the journalist with more information, regarding the company, its achievements and activities, than the boilerplate. It is a de facto extension of the boilerplate with details. Here we can also describe the company's history, achievements and scope of activities. It is also worth adding information about the company's mission, vision and goals. In the backgrounder, you can also introduce the most important members of the company, describe their position and function. The backgrounder is most often a separate document distributed to the media together with the press release, rather than as part of it.


Author of the text: Ewelina J.