PR & Marketing Industry Terms You Should Know

By Sabrina Devereaux

PR & Marketing Industry Terms You Should Know 1

Our industry is full of terms and phrases that may sound like random jargon from an outsider’s perspective. Below are common PR terms in context and untangled to help you get your bearings if you’re just starting out in the industry. 

Backlink

A link that one website gets from another website. Backlinks can significantly impact website SEO. Example: linking to another relevant article in a blog post, like this 

Beat

This is the topic that a journalist typically covers. In PR, it’s super important to pitch to editors that cover the particular beat that your announcement falls under.  

Boilerplate

The “about us” statement. Boilerplates are simple, concise messages (usually no more than a few sentences) that appear at the end of press releases to provide background on your company. 

Byline

A byline states the article author’s name (as opposed to being published anonymously). If your client writes a byline for a publication, they become a contributor to that publication.

B-roll

B-roll is supplemental video footage, typically shown as background footage. Example: If your client is doing a sit-down video interview, the video might cut to b-roll of the topic your client is discussing to add more dynamic content and context for the viewer. 

Call for Speakers (CFS)

Call for Speakers or CFS is an event (usually a conference) that’s requesting industry professionals to speak at said event. 

Crisis Communication

Defending a company’s reputation when faced with a public challenge (a challenge can be ethical, legal, financial, etc.) It’s imperative to have an experienced PR team to help you navigate these challenges when they occur. We’ve broken down how to plan for, respond to and move forward from a crisis, check it out:

Controlled Communication Channels

These channels are anything under complete control of the content creator/sender and include but are not limited to newsletters, paid ads, websites, blogs, social channels and more. 

Earned Media

Earned media is any endorsement for your client from an outside source, such as consumer product reviews, original articles, podcasts, etc. 

Editorial Calendars

A valuable tool to help outline your media strategy, editorial calendars list which topics publications will be covering throughout the year to help you plan your announcements accordingly. 

Embargo

An embargo is shared information between a PR team and media, not yet released to the public. The shared information can’t be published by the media before an agreed upon time.  

Employee Relations

Any activities created to strengthen the relationship between a company and its employees. Employee relations are an important aspect of PR because it works to create positive opinions surrounding the company. 

Exclusive

An exclusive is a story/article/segment from a PR team to a publication under the agreement that that publication alone has exclusive publishing rights.

Investor Relations

Also known as financial relations or shareholder relations, investor relations requires building relationships with investor publics: shareholders/stockholders, potential investors, financial analysts, the financial markets, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

Lead Time

This is the amount of time required from reporters to collect information they need before publishing a story. Print publications require the most lead time, online publications require the least, but times vary by publication. 

MarCom

The world of PR/marketing moves fast, so we’ll use an abbrev. whenever we can. MarCom, or marketing communications, is the combined efforts of PR and marketing to aid in sales. Marcom creates consistent messaging and works to create a stronger brand image overall by managing product promotion, advertising, tradeshows and more. 

Owned Media

Content created by your company or PR team that is distributed to communication channels within your company’s control (i.e. website, blogs, emails, etc).  

Paid Media

Paid media is content created and controlled by your company, but distributed through channels your company doesn’t own (i.e. sponsored blog posts, Google Ads, promoted social posts, display ads, etc).

Pitch

Simply put, a pitch is contacting media outlets with a story or company update, the goal is to generate interest in your client that results in earned media coverage. For tips on improving your media pitch, click here

Potential Reach

Your potential reach is the estimated number of individuals in your target audience your social media content is exposed to through posting or other online activity (stories, live streams, etc.). 

Press Kit

Information shared to media usually including product stats, press releases, photos/videos, company logos and any other relevant information on a product. 

Press Release

A press release is a statement given to news/media outlets that provides all relevant information needed on a company update, product launch, or relevant commentary.

Reputation Management

Reputation management works to positively shape the company image in the eyes of the public, it is also a necessary element within crisis management.

Request for Papers (RFP)

A Request for Papers is when a professional organization, or equivalent group, requests original scholarly articles to review and potentially publish. This has also been referred to as a Call for Papers (CFP).

Share of Voice (SOV)

A Share of Voice (SOV) is a comparative measurement of your company’s market percentage compared to industry competitors. A SOV measures brand visibility and delivers valuable intel on company positioning. Some factors that go into measuring a SOV are digital marketing and advertising, social media engagement and web traffic results.

Traction

Referring to interest generated, not your tire performance on wet/dry roads, PR teams focus on traction between press/media and their client’s product or service. 

UVM

Unique Visitors per Month: this is a metric used to measure the number of individual people exposed to a company or publication’s website or social platform.

Although the world of PR is a fast-paced environment using its own language and industry terms, there’s no need to be confused or overwhelmed. Knowing and using these terms in practice will make you a more efficient and knowledgeable PR professional. 

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