The secret formula for writing boilerplate

Sure, your organization is famous. But boilerplate and ‘about us’ pages still need to tell who you are and what you do. After all, Coca-Cola does that.

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Class, listen up now. You in the back: Get rid of the chewing gum.

Now, who can complete this formula that I’ve written on the chalkboard?

[Organization’s name] is a/the ____, [+ additional information].

Here’s an example:

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.

Not that hard, is it? Apparently it is, for some organizations. Because boilerplate and “about us” pages are among those irritants that vex reporters trying to figure out who you are and what you do.

I know. Bless you, you’ve tried. Your chief executive says everybody knows your brand, so instead let’s use that precious space to talk about emergent paradigms. HR wants to cram in something about your commitment to diversity.

Marketing likes the words solution and passionate. And what about sustainability? You don’t want people to think you spend your weekends clubbing baby seals, right?

Wrong, class. Jargon annoys reporters and wins you zero customers.

Information, please

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