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Corporate boilerplates are boring. A waste of words.
Horribly obtuse. Garbled, befuddled, perplexing, muddled obfuscatory nightmares.
If they were paintings, they'd be called "DaDonkey Disasterpieces."
They're written to give you an idea, a snapshot, of who the company is, what they do and basic contact info. They're typically found at the end of company news releases. The "About the Company" section.
Have You Read Any?
If you can, don't.
If you don't, smile.
Because they're real snooze-fests. Full of taradiddle twittle-twattle. Written in a language decipherable by only two types of people. The "writer" - and aliens (sometimes one and the same) from Gabeezellbug, a galaxy populated with corporate gobbledygook automatons.
Abolish or Reform?
David Henderson, Emmy Award Winning former CBS Journalist and Author of "The Media Savvy Leader" advocates doing away with them all together. I agree. Realistically though, they are so ingrained in the corporate culture that first an attempt at reform must be made - then we can abolish them altogether. I've tried it. Really I have. I got one down to 24 words. Coming from an original of 3,812 words, that is in some measure a shrinking success story.
It really boils down (no boilerplate pun intended) to one thing. Writing. Telling the story clearly, with purpose and without corporate gobbledygook.
Corporate boilerplates don't have to be vomitus-eruptus ad infinitum snoozefests.
They should be easy-to-read and understand.
They should be helpful information pointers to you or your company's "creds" and "reasons to believe"(and buy from you).
The corporate boilerplate should be an invitation to come check you or your company's story out. Whatever you do. Wherever you do it. Whatever your story is.
Web 3.0 Corporate Boilerplate Template Beta-Prototype
BUT DON'T TELL!
It'll smash Todd Defren's Social Media News Release Template (versions 1 and 1.5) to pieces in terms of usability, value and ready acceptance in the marketplace. But don't tell Todd. He's worked really hard and a lot of people and companies have benefited from the ideas, knowledge and resources he readily shares.
Retro-Strategic Thoughtless Thinkers
Todd's template took a lot of flack in the marketplace of retro-strategic thoughtless thinkers. Mine won't. I say that with all undue and well-undeserved humility.
And, I'm going to open it up to the public - similar to what Todd did, like an open-sourced boilerplate free for all non-progressive PR and marketing folks. Free to use, re-use, animate and regurgitate.
And yes, believe it or not, it's a GREEN corporate boilerplate. Evergreen even. No carbon credit offsets needed.
WILL SAVE THE WORLD!
It'll save humanity from the dreaded MPCGBS disease. For those of you in the unknow... that stands for Multiple Platform Corporate Gobbledygook BS (bureaucratic speak). It's the scourge of all decent human beings trying to pass this time on earth without becoming violently ill. It'll help banish the boring. Save the planet. And if you're an analyst, or in the media, you might even recognize some of the terminology.
HELP ME OUT HERE!
Most readers (buyers) really only want answers to four simple questions in the "About" section;
- What do you do?
- How do you do it?
- Why are you different?
- Why should I buy from you?
Let me be a little more specific.
Can you please do it in less than 40-60 words? I read one that was 367 words long. And YES! I counted.
For you Twits and Tweeters out there - 60-80 words is about 4-6 tweets.
But How Do I Shorten My Boilerplate?
Layer. Layer your message. Layer your meaning. In a minimalist style. Like a good story, draw me (the reader) in.
Intrigue me with eloquent simplicity full of implied value - then reinforce the intrigue with embedded links back to your web site with specific and credible information to back your claims up.
Boilerplates are under-boiled and under-valued pieces of content real estate. If you write a snappy (less-than-crappy) boilerplate answering the 4 basic questions, you'll not only help the reader out -- you'll draw them onto your home turf. Your website or your company's website.
HELP GREEN THE EARTH
That's turning wasted content real estate into a valuable reusable asset.
I wanted to squeeze the word "GREEN" into this post so it'd help with my environmentally reckless writing style.
So, there you go, consider this the start of the GREEN boilerplate movement.
And yes. I'm working on my own. It's gonna be a work of art. A boilerplate masterpiece.
Something DaVinci would be proud of ... if he was a writer.
It's also going to include an "About the Author" and a real-world "About the Company" to inspire the inner artistic wordpreneur in you.
HERE IT COMES - WEB 3.0 Boilerplate Beta-Prototype
About the Author
Steve Kayser is an award-winning business writer. A.K..A. as the Squareballs writer. Why?
Steve is the Flounder of Squareballs Enterainment, a non-leading edge, next-to-lost generation, un-scalable (but eminently sellable), not seamlessly integrated (although certainly unseemly), robusted (once or twice at most - a herberiferous violation), rigidly inflexible, SINergistically off-kilter, groundbreaking (at least I did some for my garden) world class (minus the "cl"), geometrically challenged (totally true), inchoate “Thoughtless Leadership” prepubescent publishing empire dedicated to stories that challenge the shape of the mind. At least his - or anyone else that got through that sentence and thinks they know what they thought was said and can say what they thought was thought when what was said was thought.
If you really want to contact Steve: email@example.com. Smoke signals work on occasion ... if they're the right kinda smoke.
END OF WEB 3.0 CORPORATE BOILERPLATE BETA-PROTOTYPE
Okay ... It's a diamond in the rough, I know. Probably 400 words too long. I'm taking my digital scalpel to it right now, but ...
It's clearer than a lot of corporate boilerplates I've read.
Don't believe me?
Go see for yourself.