Breaking Down Some of PR’s Most Popular Terms
While college is definitely one of the places where most of us began to learn about our desired profession, it’s safe to say that not everything we learned was in the classroom. A lot of the knowledge we absorb comes from being “on the job” and in the “thick of things.” That’s not to say you shouldn’t attend school and study your craft; after all, knowledge is power, something we can never have too much of.
What led me to start thinking about what we learn in school verse what we learn on the job, came about when one of JMG PR’s newest team member brought to my attention the fact that some of the phrases we use around the office on a daily basis, and frankly are like second nature to us, were in fact a bit foreign to her. Before starting with us she had never heard of many of the terms we use every day.
This revelation started my wheels turning and I thought, what if there was a guide, or even a handy tool to help PR professionals who are just getting started brush up on the terms they should be familiar with when coming into a new role, as opposed to first having to look them up. With this as my inspiration, I began compiling a list of some of the lingo you will hear around any PR office to get any newbie feeling like a seasoned pro in no time.
Byline - A secondary line of text often found directly under the title of an article giving credit to the author along with the date published.
Lead Time - The time between the initial process and its completion. How long will it take from the time an idea is pitched to publication? With magazines, the lead time is much longer (ideas for summer are often cultivated early in the year) than an online story.
Exclusive - Giving a first look of information or samples to a media outlet with the knowledge that it won’t be shared with any other outlets until the original has posted their story.
Embargo – A request or requirement by a source that information or news provided not be published until a specific date and time.
B2B (Business to Business) - Targeted specifically at a business audience you must sell the company first and the product or service second.
B2C (Business to Consumer) - A company that sells products and serves directly to consumers. The potential audience is much larger than a B2B and requires different PR techniques/strategies.
By-lined article – Commonly used to distinguish a client as a thought leader in their respected field, the content is written by an expert voice (sometimes by the client themselves), and articulates views and opinions without requiring objectivity. In addition, it helps to enhance and gain visibility for one’s image.
Traction - Interest in your client from a media outlet for coverage.
B-Roll - Supplemental video footage that adds dimension to a story you want to promote that can be used to bolster a news story about your client.
Pubs - An abbreviation for the term publications.
Evergreen - Powerful content that remains fresh without having to be updated. It is content that is always applicable and less likely to become outdated. Evergreen content helps deliver traffic to a website and hold a valuable position in SEO rankings.
In-house - An in-house PR department is a unit the functions as part of an organization as opposed to an independent firm (like JMG PR). The PR team is housed within the business facility.
Ed Cals - An abbreviation for editorial calendar, it is a list of specific topics media will cover over a period of time. It also gives PR pros a starting point when reaching out to editors when pitching a particular story.
Boilerplate - Usually found at the end of a press release, the boilerplate (aka About Us statement) briefly describes the company or organization and helps tell a story to the media and consumer audience.
Roundup - A written piece that highlights several products / services that apply to a certain topic. While shorter than feature stories, this type of content are great compliments to any media relations campaign. It points out the client’s strengths verse their competitors.
We’d love to hear from you – share with us which phrases are used frequently in your office along with any unfamiliar lingo you came across when you first began your PR career. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly on anyone of our social media links.