As a student of PR at the University of Westminster, Iâ€™m surrounded by these terms in my day-to-day academic life. Initially these terms can seem confusing, especially for non-PR people.Â Every industry has its own language, and weâ€™re no exception. Weâ€™ve come up with a short list of key PR terms to help translate this jargon into non-PR talk to help simplify things and make life a little easier.
1. Wire ServiceÂ â€“ This is a big one! The wire essentially refers to the distribution of your press release or content. When we say we can â€œset up a wire for you,â€ we mean we can organise to send your press release to a fee based service, like PR Newswire, who will then ensure that itâ€™s widely and effectively distributed. This service is great for gaining exposure, and ensuring that your news is out there and available to as many publications as possible.
2. ExclusiveÂ – Instead of mass distribution, an â€œexclusiveâ€ involves pitching your news story to one select journalist in order to give them an opportunity for exclusive coverage of the story. The goal of an exclusive is to target specific journalists who may be interested in covering your story and who would potentially conduct an interview with your organisation. This can encourage more extensive and in-depth coverage of your story.
3. BoilerplateÂ – This is a pretty weird term to describe the section at the bottom of a press release that provides general information about the organisation, service, or event being discussed in the release.
4. Crisis ManagementÂ – Itâ€™s always better to have a plan! Crisis management is pre-emptive planning to ensure Â everyoneâ€™s prepared if something goes wrong for the organisation. Crisis management plans usually force businesses to think about the worst case scenario and make arrangements for how they would respond if this situation were to occur.
5. Integrated CommunicationÂ – This is a newer trend in PR and involves the integration of different media channels (traditional, online, social media â€“driven etc) into one unified message that can be shared across various media outlets. The CommsCo just happen to be experts in integrated communication!
6.Â Press/Media PackÂ – Think of these as gift bags for members of the press â€“ theyâ€™re filled with promotional material to help brief and inform the press about the product or service youâ€™re presenting. These packs are a great way to ensure journalists know what youâ€™re talking about so that they can properly communicate the information to the public through their work.
7. Lead TimeÂ – Even reporters and producers need some time to prepare for a deadline! Lead time refers to the period of time needed to prepare stories and information for release.
8. ReachÂ – â€œLikes,â€ â€œfavourites,â€ â€œshares,â€ and â€œretweetsâ€ are all examples of your reach. The number of people who view or engage with a communication demonstrates the reach of that information. Reach can also be measured through mentions, articles written, and other outlets for earned media.
9. Vertical MediaÂ – This term refers to media that relates to different sectors. For example, a product or service that your organisation is promoting may relate to both the tech sector and health sector â€“ because of this the media and communications used to promote the product should relate and appeal to both sectors.
10.Â Paid EditorialÂ â€“ This is media coverage thatâ€™s paid for by the client. Often paid editorial appears in supplements or features.
11.Â Earned MediaÂ – As the name suggests, this is media that your organisation earns â€“ it isnâ€™t paid for. This coverage stems from media relations work and exposure and is the major goal of most communication plans.