18 common PR terms—defined

How many of them do you know and use? Did we miss any important ones?


As PR professionals, we often find ourselves in interesting conversations trying to explain what we do for a living.

The popularity of social media and its integration into the PR and marketing mix have made it a little easier to help our family and friends “get it,” but there are still a lot of curious looks when you answer the question, “So, what is PR and what do you do as a PR professional, anyway?”

To complicate matters, we use a lot of PR lingo that makes no sense to those outside of marketing. Some of our favorite PR slang includes:

Pubs – publications, as in “we need to get media coverage in 100 pubs.”

Hits – media coverage.

Opp – opportunity, as in an opportunity to get media coverage.

Journo – a reporter (journalist).

Pitch – note to inform/gauge interest.

Running/ran – article appeared.

Traction – interest/coverage.

Open the kimono – reveal more details.

Prezo – a PowerPoint presentation.

Release – a news announcement (as opposed to a product release).

Launch – the public marketing announcement of a G/A product (G/A = generally available).

B-roll – “highlights” video of something we want to promote (company, person, event), often used to show broadcast outlets the potential for a story and/or provide them with footage for the story.

Ed Cals – editorial calendars (predetermined story topics by media outlets).

Boilerplate – short description of a company, most often used at the end of a press release.

Evergreen – story/pitch angle that won’t fade over time, could be pitched/published at any time (as opposed to news that is only relevant during a certain period of time).

In-house – a “corporate” job in which one conducts PR inside a business, as opposed to an agency job in which one services several clients at once.

Flack – although defined as “a publicist or promoter,” it is also a derogatory reference—often used by journalists—to describe a bad PR executive.

Hack – PR’s response to “flack,” often used to describe a poor journalist or reporting job.

What slang terms do you use in your profession that others might not understand without explanation? What’d we miss on the PR front?

Christine Perkett is president and founder of Perkett PR, a public relations, social marketing and interactive digital services agency. Follow her on Twitter @missusp. This story first appeared on the PerkettPRsuasion blog.

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