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PR Industry Jargon-Buster

PR is an amazing industry to work in - but it can be seriously confusing at times.

Just like most industries, we have our fair share of industry jargon and acronyms. And it’s not always obvious what they mean, especially if you’re a newbie.

But never fear - it need not be the case that all new starters (or even seasoned pros) are put off by a lack of understanding for the industry terminology. We are here to help!

Here is our (hopefully) comprehensive list of all the industry jargon, acronyms, phrases, terms and naming conventions you need to know to get along in the PR world. Some of them are very specific to PR, others are more general terms that just get used a lot.

And if you’re still confused about how to execute on your campaign after reading all this - maybe it’s time to get in touch and find out if we can help? We’d love to hear from you.



Sell-in - The laborious process of calling the media to tell them about your latest story. The bread and butter of any hard-working PR agency

TL – Thought Leadership: The name given to the process of creating opinion or op-ed articles that are ghost-written for high-level clients like company CEOs or brand ambassadors

C-suite - This is general business jargon that simply means anyone with C - or ‘Chief’ - at the beginning of their job title. Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO) etc

B2B – Business to Business: Marketing your client to other businesses, rather than...

B2C – Business to Consumer: Marketing your client directly to consumers

B2B2C - Business to Business to Consumer: A slightly silly way of saying that you’ll be marketing to other businesses AND consumers at the same time

RFP - Request For Pitch: When a company who needs a new agency puts a brief out for agencies to respond to. The first stage on the way to securing a new client

Gorks – Gorkana: The industry standard database for the contact info of journalists working in the UK and beyond

Braino - brainstorm session: The place where dreams are made (or, more accurately, where people come up with ideas on how to get more coverage)

Circle back - REPLY: This just means respond to someone. Just say reply. Please

Reach out - call/email: You will try to get in touch with someone. It's likely replaced 'call them' because there are so many different ways to contact people now. Either that or it just sounds more important

ROI - Return on Investment: This is a more general business term, but in a PR context it simply means what kind of results a business can expect to get from their investment in PR. It might be an uptick in sales, increased brand recognition, or more traffic to their website

KPIs - Key Performance Indicators: These are tactical targets that you set for a campaign. For PR it’s usually the number of pieces of press coverage you hope to get. It might also be social media engagement or website traffic

OKRs - Objective Key Results: These are targets that link your results with a broader strategic vision. It makes sure you're all pulling in the right direction

ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival: This one was originally a military term, but it’s quite common to hear it shouted around PR offices to ask about anything from a press release being finished to a photographer turning up to a shoot

EOD/COP/EOP/COB - End of Day/Close of Play/End of Play/Close of Business: For some reason, there are a million different ways to say the end of the working day. It’s often used instead of just saying 6pm because in PR (if you didn’t already know) it’s very rare that anyone ever gets out on time!

OTS - Opportunities To See: This is a number you can use to measure the success of a story - created by adding up the total circulations of all the news outlets you’ve got coverage in

UX - User Experience: A web development term used to describe the design of an app or website

A/B test - A type of user testing: This is the most frequently mis-used term on our list. People often use it to mean any kind of testing, whereas, in reality, A/B testing is a very specific kind of user journey test. PR people, leave this one to the developers!

AVE - Advertising Value Equivalent: A number PRs sometimes use to put an actual value on the work they do, which is often more art than science. It’s worked out by using the particular news outlet’s advertising rates for the size of the ad. It’s a notoriously unreliable metric, but lots of people still use it

UUs – Unique Users: number of unique individuals that visit a website over a given time period. It’s often used in relation to media websites to gauge how popular they are

UMV - Unique Monthly Visits: This is simply the number of unique visits a website gets over the course of one month. As above, it’s used as an indicator of how popular the site is

MUU - Monthly Unique Users: Same as the above. Nobody knows why there are so many ways of saying the same thing. Sorry.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation: The process of trying to get more traffic to a client’s website through search engines like Google. It’s mainly done by getting other people to link back to the site, or by writing interesting blogs

PPC - Pay Per Click: This one is usually used to describe a Google AdWords campaign - which is a way of paying to appear in Google’s search results. You pay for every click to your website, hence the name

Is this list missing anything? Let us know your industry definitions and we’ll add them to the list!


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Date Published

February 19, 2019

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Marlin News

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