Templates, Boilerplates and Smashed Plates

When I left mainstream journalism and public relations, I tried to stop being cynical and sarcastic. My children always hated it when I was ‘sarckie’, and nasty with words. It came naturally.

So I’ve largely eradicated my cynical side, and hopefully replaced it with discernment, and critical analysis.

But I am only human and there are some things that really get my goat! (Really funny expression that with no clear origin, strange how I end up using it)

And it’s cliches and jargon that make me snort. I came across a new one in PR yesterday. Boilerplates for media releases.

Ok so now we move from templates, to boilerplates, and the difference is???? And who cares???

And this got me to thinking about how often I now hear talk about templates and frameworks. It is almost obsessive.

I find myself using these terms endlessly in business.

” We need to set up a template.” ” We have to get the framework in place.”

Ok so this is the need for order in a complex world, I get that.

But what goes inside the templates, boilerplates and frameworks ?

My point is, particularly in communication, is that there is no depth. There are superficial statements about frameworks and templates with very little substance.

No patina. No backstory. Just a proforma template like plastic boxes on a production line.

Apparently a boilerplate is stock standard language that doesn’t get changed. It comes from the anal world of legal contracts.

Now I find myself hearing the same professionals rolling out templates, boilerplates and frameworks, say in the same breathe: Content is King!

So who is doing the content?

Where is the compelling story? I like the image of a Greek Wedding with Smashed Plates. Drama, story, excitement, engagement, content.

Great content is about contrast, juxtaposition, some drama. Smash it up, mash it up, so we don’t have to snore through boilerplates, templates and frameworks with no ‘guts’.

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