If your Neighborhood Council doesn’t yet have an About Us statement, or if yours needs an update, here’s how to write something brief that makes a big impact.
A boilerplate is a short, two to four sentence blurb that explains who you are, and what your credentials are. Boilerplates are probably the most useful sort of About Us statement for a Neighborhood Council to have, as they can be used with a press release; on your website; in grant applications; or on outreach material like flyers, mailers and event programs.
Boilerplate Best Practices
- Be brief, but don’t skimp on vital details. This blurb may be the first time someone has ever heard of your council. Because of this, make sure to include your website, and always give the full name of your council the first time you use it. Don’t use your acronym (such as ABCNC) until afterwards.
- Adapt your About Us statements for different purposes and audiences. For example, if this statement is for an audience of stakeholders, include the day, time and location of your board meetings. However, if it is going to be seen by an audience that is outside of Los Angeles, a better use of your limited space might be to replace the meeting details with a sentence explaining what a Neighborhood Council is.
- Cherry pick your credits, and be specific. Even though they are very short, an About Us boilerplate can still be very memorable if it tells your Neighborhood Council’s story. Don’t be generic, and say your council has “led a wide variety of community projects,” but don’t turn your boilerplate into a laundry list, either. Instead, pick two or three of your council’s best achievements to highlight, then add a few words on how those achievements impacted your community for the better. You can always switch out the credits you mention to suit different audiences, or update your choice of items as your council meets new goals.
Info To Gather For A Boilerplate
Here are some questions to help gather useful details for your council’s About Us boilerplate:
- About how many stakeholders does your council serve?
- What part of Los Angeles are you located in?
- What gives your neighborhood its unique character? For example, is there a well-known landmark there? A great story in your community history? What sort of industries or people are located there? What sort of activities are popular there – for example, are you a beach or an equestrian community? This is LA – was a popular movie or TV show filmed there?
- When and where does your Neighborhood Council meet? (E.g., “ABCNC meets the 4th Wednesday of every month at 7 pm, at the Mr. Rogers Neighborhood Library, 1234 Sesame Street, LA 90000.”)
Share Your Results
We love hearing your neighborhood’s story! If you create an About Us using this guide, please share it with us at Communications@EmpowerLA.org.
Outreach Tip Of The Week is an ongoing series on how to use communications, branding, marketing, and public relations to build better relationships with your stakeholders.