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Marketing is full of jargon, anachronisms (B-roll comes to mind), acronyms, and new expressions dreamed up almost every week. We use them all the time, almost without thinking. I’ve done my best in The Professional Marketer to dig in and find their origins.
This week, from my chapter on the press release, is boilerplate:
“Boiler plate” originally referred to the small metal plate that identified the builder of a steam boiler. The term was borrowed by the printing industry, where plates of text for widespread reproduction, such as advertisements or syndicated columns, were cast or stamped in steel (instead of the much softer and less durable lead alloys used otherwise) ready for the printing press and distributed to newspapers around the United States. They came to be known as “boilerplates.”
The only marketing term borrowed from heavy industry? I think so.