PR Jargon: The top 10 most commonly used phrases


“Have you written your pitch yet to sell into media? Make sure to emphasise the embargo date and use the correct boilerplate below the press release when you send. Once the coverage comes through our clipping services, can you handle selling it back to client, noting the MUU and any backlinks too?”

Did that all just go right over your head? For those not in the trade, or others just beginning their career, someone working in Public Relations (PR) might as well be speaking gibberish a lot of the time…

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 most used PR terms so you can learn to walk the PR walk and talk the PR talk.

  1. Press Release: A news announcement usually shared by a PR professional with a range of target media publications. The purpose is to get coverage and get noticed by a target audience.
  2. Boilerplate: A section at the end of a press release before the media contact information that gives a brief description of the company. It ensures the who and what is consistent and obvious in the press release.
  1. Backlink:A link to your website hosted by a different website domain. Backlinks are usually used in articles or blog posts and are important because they can increase traffic back to your website.   
  2. Sell in and sell back: Sharing a news story with media and then sharing any articles written about the story with a client
  3. Exclusive: Sending only ONE media outlet information, samples, or stats so they have the opportunity to publish a story before any other publication
  4. Lead Time: The amount of time needed by reporters to gather information for their story. The time varies by type of outlet, with many magazines working on editions three months into the future and online publications working on articles for that day/week
  5. Pitch: A highly targeted email that is crafted and sent to a journalist to gauge their interest in your story/client. A PR team will always follow up an email pitch with a phone call to the relevant journalist.
  6. Circulation (Circ) / Monthly Unique Users (MUU): The total number of copies of a print publication that is available for readers or the total number of monthly website visitors viewing their page. This is a number that PR professionals often share with clients to indicate the reach and influence of a piece of coverage.
  7. Embargo: The sharing of unannounced, relevant information with media that cannot be published before an agreed time and date. For example, if you have a new product coming out, PR agencies may contact reporters asking if they are interested in information, reach an agreement that they won’t post the news before a certain time and then give them a preview of the information to be announced.
  8. Syndication/syndicate: A news service that takes a single story and places it on several websites or in several outlets. Press Association is an example of a syndicate. When a piece of client coverage is syndicated, it means that the same story ran in multiple media outlets.

If you’ve got any other PR related questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team. We promise not to talk too much PR speak…

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