Our comprehensive list of PR buzz-words and must know terms to keep you in the know!
Whether it’s emails or media releases, we’re all too familiar with that sensation of impending doom when you’ve confused your TIFF’s with your JPEG’s, or when there’s just so much industry jargon that whatever you’re reading may as well be in Morse Code.
But who do you ask for help? No way are you emailing back to receive a reply even more confusing than the first. You could ask your boss for some clarification but you’ve got a sneaking suspicion they know even less terminology than you do. If only there was some sort of PR dictionary that could decode all those troublesome terms into plain English….
Always here to help, we’ve compiled the ultimate PR dictionary of buzz-words and insider language to help you navigate those treacherous terrains of emails, press releases and media callouts.
This is the PR equivalent to a Lonely Planet phrasebook, the perfect computer companion to save your sanity in all those WTF moments. Be sure to favourite this page, keeping it on hand the next time you’re drowning in PR terminology!
An agency is a company that works on behalf of clients to manage the media, marketing and public relations aspects of the relative brand. Agencies can be highly useful in gaining opportunities, increasing brand awareness and liaising with media and influencers.
An ambassador refers to an individual (generally a celebrity or an influencer) who becomes the face or the voice for a brand for a period of time. Ambassadors can be useful in personalising a brand and gaining access to new audiences and potential customers.
The Art Director oversees all of the editorial art in magazines and the like. They create the overall design and direct those below them to develop the relevant artwork and layouts.
A blog is an online website that is regularly updated with text, images and video based content that shares insights into the blogger’s life. Blogs can be used to share news, fashion tips, travel ideas and so much more.
A blogger refers to someone who owns a blog and regularly updates it with news, images and content. Blogging may be something someone does for fun, as an extension of a business website, or as a business venture in its own right.
Brand awareness refers to the extent to which consumers and audiences are aware of the products and services provided by a particular brand.
A brief refers to a document that explains the context, deliverables, requirements, and deadlines of a specific project, story or campaign. Briefs are used by brands, media and influencers alike to ensure content is delivered accurately, on time and according to the project’s intentions.
B2B stands for “business to business” and refers to businesses whose customers are other businesses.
B2C stands for “business to customer” and refers to businesses whose customers are people rather than businesses or brands.
The term “campaign” is used to describe a strategy, period of time, or marketing process that contributes to a particular goal. Campaigns are often used to drive awareness or promote a new product, service or collection. Campaigns are defined by a limited duration and may be comprised of advertising, influencer marketing and demonstrations.
CMYK stands for “cyan, magenta, yellow, black” and refers to the spectrum of colours that printers use to recreate an image. As opposed to the computer-specific spectrum of RGB, CMYK is more useful in creating bright, high resolution images for print.
Contra refers to an exchange of services which doesn’t involve money. Perfect for small businesses or brands with limited budgets, contra allows for media exposure in exchange for products or services.
The Copy Editor is someone who looks for grammar, spelling and style mistakes in a story or published text.
Creative Directors are found within creative businesses such as graphic design, fashion, advertising and media brands. They are responsible for establishing and managing the visual and creative identity of the brand and work alongside designers, artists, copywriters, sales teams and marketers to oversee the creative process and plan the advertising for the relevant company. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with Art Director.
CTR stands for “click through rate” and is a way of determining the number of people who followed a hyperlink to a particular page or website. CTR is an important method in determining the success of EDM’s and influencer-based campaigns.
A deadline is the latest time or date by which something should be completed. Deadlines are an important guide for print and online publications. Deadlines are often non-negotiable and missed deadlines may mean missed opportunities.
Deep Etch is a graphic design term that describes images that have been removed from their background. Deep Etch photos are often requested by journalists and editors so they can use different backgrounds and layer images.
Digital refers to publications, images and types of work that are viewed on monitors. Digital files may be viewed on computers, phones and tablets.
DPI stands for “dots per square inch” and is important in determining the resolution of an image. When printing an image, the printer recreates the image using a series of tiny dots. The DPI refers to the density of the dots and the space between them. This term is often used interchangeably with PPI or “pixels per inch” but you can find out more about the differences between the two here.
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Editor in Chief refers to the top editorial position at most magazines.
EDM stands for “Electronic Direct Mail” and refers to marketing campaigns based on email send-outs, social media and offline advertising. EDM’s are often used interchangeably for email newsletters and are used to build an email database of customers and potential customers who you can communicate with directly. Email communications are useful as they allow you to see how many people opened your email, where they opened it, what time, on what device, how many took action and what action they took.
Engagement refers to action taken on content. In influencer marketing, engagement can describe likes, comments, shares and retweets.
EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript and is a file that can contain text as well as graphics. EPS files are typically used to save artwork, such as logos and drawings, and as a standard means for transferring image data between different operating systems. You can convert EPS files to .PDF, .JPG, .PNG, and .TIFF files in programs such as Illustrator and Photoshop.
In PR terms, an event is an occasion organised with the specific intention of generating publicity or brand awareness. Often an important component of a campaign (see above), events can include runway shows and showings as well as activity-based workshops or meals where influencers and media are invited and encouraged to blog or post about the event.
Exclusive refers to content, events or offers that are only available to a select amount of people. Exclusive events are important in establishing and maintaining key media, influencer and audience relationships while exclusive offers and content can be a good tool in promoting your brand and driving EDM engagement.
A gift refers to something sent by a brand to media or influencers. Different from a sample, a gift may not necessarily comprise of the brand’s product and is often sent in response to coverage (or to commemorate an occasion).
Hi-res or high resolution refers to images over 300 dpi and are an absolute must for print! Not sure how to tell if your image is high res? Check out this guide.
An influencer refers to any individual who can influence another person (or a collective of people) to take a specific action. Influencers are often identified as social media users with a following of people who trust their opinion and look to them for guidance on style and lifestyle choices.
IN STORE DATE
The in store date refers to the specific date your product will be available for people to purchase. Media outlets will often request the in store date along with the images of your product so they can determine when to feature your products and when their readers will be able to find said product in store or online.
JPEG or JPG stands for “joint photographic experts group” and refers to file types ending in .jpg. JPEG files have been compressed and only create a small-size file which means they do lose some of the image detail. JPEG files are generally good for digital content as they easily load onto web pages while still looking good!
Long lead refers to the amount of time a news outlet or magazine works on a publication. Long lead outlets are mostly print magazines who work on stories or issues anywhere from 3-6 months in advance.
A lookbook refers to a collection of photographs used to display a designer’s new collection or new line. Lookbooks are also used by models and photographers to chronicle their best work.
Low-res or low resolution refers to images at 72 dpi. These images are perfect for web content but will become pixelated in print. That being said, screen technology has advanced so dramatically that 72 dpi is becoming too low for digital publications!
A market editor refers to editors (usually in fashion) who spends most of their time “in the market” looking for the latest trends and designers. The role of market editor includes attending fashion shows, trade shows, market appointments and previews and requires an understanding of luxury fashion and high-street names.
A media kit is a kind of resume used by influencers or brands when approaching media for collaborations. The media kit should involve information about the relevant party including skills, experience and statistics of their followers or readers.
A media release is a document containing new information about a brand or product and is the best way to provide information to media outlets. Find out how to write a killer media release here.
A media showing refers to an event where media and influencers are invited to view a new collection or product. Media showings allow for exclusive access to new ranges and provide media with a hands-on look at new products they can work into upcoming stories or pitches. Find out how to organise the ultimate media showing here.
Macro-influencers are the middle tier of influencers. They generally have a follower count of 100, 000 – 300, 000. While they have less followers than mega-influencers, their engagement rates are higher – although less than that of micro-influencers. For more on Macro-Influencers see our ultimate list here.
Mega-influencers refer to those influencers with over 300, 000 followers. This category can also include celebrity influencers. Mega influencers often live off their influencer status and may generate a significant income from sponsored posts and collaborations. Mega-influencers are used by brands for maximum exposure and brand awareness. For more on Mega-Influencers see our ultimate list here.
Micro-influencers are those with a small but highly engaged community of under 100, 000 followers. With a smaller following, micro-influencers often tap into niche audiences and offer a more authentic and accessible voice to that of mega-influencers. For more on Micro-Influencers see our ultimate list here.
A pitch refers to a document, email or conversation in which a brand, media agent or influencer offers their products, services, skills and/or influence in an attempt to get work or coverage. Find out how to create pitches that are practically guaranteed to get you noticed here.
PNG stands for “Portable Network Graphics” and refers to file types ending in .png. While PNG files create larger file sizes than a JPEG, they are the ideal file type for line art and images that include text (Mac screenshots are automatically saved as PNG files!).
PPI stands for “pixels per inch” and is important in determining the resolution of an image. PPI is used interchangeably with DPI or “dots per inch”. PPI is used specifically with computers and digital publications as monitors work in pixels rather than dots. Find out more about the differences between PPI and DPI here.
PR stands for “Public Relations” and refers to the way brands and individuals communicate to the public and the media. The aim of PR is to communicate with the target audience to create and maintain a positive image and a strong relationship with the media and the audience. Find out more about why PR is so important for your brand here.
Print refers to printed media such as magazines, newspapers and brochures. Print requires high-res images and will often have a longer lead time than digital media.
A publicist is an individual whose job it is to generate and manage the publicity for a company, brand or public figure. They are responsible for getting positive press coverage for their client and may be involved in writing press releases, press kits and pitching stories to media contacts.
If something is “online” it is on a website or webpage that requires connection to the internet.
RGB stands for “red, green, blue” and refers to the spectrum of colours that make up an image. RGB is used for web-based images as monitors emit light to create colour. Although the RGB spectrum is capable of creating all colours, monitors can only display a limited range. If you are thinking of printing your images, it is important to change to your colour format settings from RGB to CMYK.
RSVP is a term derived from the French phrase “répondez s’il vous plait” and translates to “please respond”. RSVP’s are used in social invitations to determine if invitees will be attending your event. In PR terms, RSVP’s are important in coordinating guest lists and may be necessary in determining catering, facilities and devising arrival times for media showings and other events. If you have a PR firm for your company, RSVP’s may be directed to them.
A sample refers to complementary products sent to editors, journalists and influencers. Samples are often new releases and are sent to key individuals with the intention of getting your product attention and media coverage.
Short lead refers to media, publications and reporters that have a relatively short turn around. Short lead publications are those who work on stories, content or issues with a turn around time of less than three months. These publications will often need material quicker than their long lead colleagues and may only have hours or days to produce a story.
A showroom is a space used to display goods for sale. PR companies will often have a showroom that houses a collection of items from their brands to show prospective media, influencers or other relevant parties.
Social media refers to any online destination that allows users to create and share content with an audience. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube are all examples of social media. Social media is an important frontier in PR as it directly connects brands with their audience (potential and actual).
TIFF or TIF stands for “tagged image file format” and refers to file types ending in .tif. Typically used in photo software such as Photoshop, TIFF images create large sizes as they are uncompressed and contain detailed image data.
Have you come across a term we’ve not included in our ultimate PR dictionary? Hit us up and we’ll update our list accordingly!
Images: @_hollyt (banner), flatlay by Tamira Jarrel, Celine campaign by Juergen Teller, Brooke Lark, Tash Oakley for Frank Body, Bonel PR Showroom, in print Sara Medina Lind,