All the Terms You Need to Know in PR

Hey there! Welcome to our handy guide to Public Relations (PR) terms. Just like any other industry, PR has its own jargon that can be a bit confusing. But worry not! We've put together this guide to give you insights into all those fancy PR definitions.

Whether you're new to the field or just need a refresher, this resource will help you wrap your head around the key terms and concepts used in PR. From embargo and exclusives to op-eds, we've got you covered. So, let's dive in and demystify the world of PR together!


  1. Public Relations (PR): The strategic practice of building relationships, leveraging expertise, and pitching newsworthy stories, events, or ideas to journalists to secure positive press coverage and enhance public perception for clients or organizations.
  1. Media Relations: The management of relationships and communications with journalists, editors, and media outlets to secure positive coverage and manage any potential negative publicity.
  1. Key Messaging: The core points or statements that an organization wants to communicate to its target audience, conveying its value proposition, key differentiators, or key positions on specific issues.
  1. Media Pitching: The practice of reaching out to journalists, editors, or influencers with a compelling story idea or content proposal to secure media coverage or interest, keeping in mind that the coverage is not guaranteed as it depends on the journalists' discretion and editorial priorities.
  1. Media Monitoring: The systematic tracking and analysis of media coverage and mentions of an organization or its key topics, using tools and techniques to gather data and insights for evaluation and strategic decision-making.
  1. Thought Leadership: A PR strategy that positions individuals or organizations as experts and authoritative voices within their industry or field by creating and disseminating valuable and insightful content.
  1. Announcement: A formal declaration of significant information, news, or events that should be communicated publicly for the first time without having been announced previously.
  1. Newsjacking in PR: The strategic practice of capitalizing on current news or trending topics to generate media coverage and public attention by providing timely and relevant insights or content.
  1. Spokesperson/Speaker: A spokesperson, also known as a speaker, is an authorized representative of an organization who communicates with the media and the public on behalf of the organization. A spokesperson is responsible for delivering key messages and addressing media inquiries.
  1. Crisis Communication: A strategy that involves strategically and promptly sharing information during unexpected events to protect reputation, operations, and public perception by effectively managing messages to stakeholders, media, and the public.


  1. PR Strategy: A comprehensive plan developed by a public relations team to achieve specific goals and objectives. It outlines the target audience, key messages, communication channels, tactics, and evaluation methods to guide PR activities and ensure consistent and effective communication.
  1. Press Release: A written statement or announcement distributed to the media to share newsworthy information about an organization, product, or event with the aim of generating media coverage.
  1. Boilerplate: In PR, a boilerplate refers to a standardized paragraph or section that provides basic information about an organization, such as its history, mission, key products or services, and contact details. It is often used at the end of press releases or promotional materials to provide a consistent and concise overview of the organization.
  1. Op-Ed (aka contributed pieces or bylines): An op-ed (short for "opposite the editorial") is a type of article that expresses the opinion or viewpoint of the author, typically an expert or influential figure, on a specific topic. Bylines and op-eds provide an opportunity for individuals or organizations to showcase their expertise and contribute to public discourse without directly promoting their own company.
  1. Exclusive: in PR, an exclusive refers to offering a particular news story, interview, or content to only one media outlet or journalist, providing them with exclusive access and rights to publish it before others. This approach is often used to secure more in-depth coverage, generate greater impact, or build stronger relationships with specific media partners.
  1. Embargo: in PR, an embargo is an agreement between a source (such as a company or PR professional) and a journalist or media outlet. It involves providing advance access to information or news under the condition that it is not published or released until a specified date and time. Embargoes allow journalists to prepare stories in advance while ensuring coordinated and simultaneous coverage.
  1. Pitch: In PR, a pitch refers to targeted communication in the form of a short message/proposal sent to journalists, editors, or influencers to persuade them to cover a specific story, event, or product. A pitch typically includes a concise and compelling message highlighting the key aspects and unique angles of the story to capture the recipient's interest.
  1. Media List: A curated compilation of contacts, including journalists, reporters, editors, and influencers, who are relevant to a specific PR campaign or initiative and can be targeted for media outreach and communication.
  1. Media Kit (aka press kit or media package): A compilation of materials provided to journalists to facilitate media coverage by offering comprehensive resources such as pictures and background information on a brand, product, event, or individual.


  1. On the Record: Refers to information provided by a source during an interview that can be attributed to the source by name and can be quoted directly in a publication or broadcast.
  1. Off the Record: A condition set by a source during an interview indicating that the information shared is not to be attributed to the source and cannot be published or reported.
  1. On Background: An agreement made between a source and a journalist during an interview, allowing the journalist to use the information provided for their reporting but without directly attributing it to the specific source by name.


  1. Owned Media: Owned media refers to the digital channels and assets that an organization or individual has full control over, such as websites, blogs, and social media profiles.
  1. Earned Media: Earned media is the publicity and exposure gained through media coverage, word-of-mouth, or viral sharing, which is the primary focus of public relations efforts to generate organic attention and positive coverage.
  1. Paid Media: Paid media encompasses advertising or promotional content that an organization or individual pays for to reach a target audience, including traditional and digital channels.
  1. Feature Story: An article that goes beyond news reporting, typically highlighting unique angles, human interest, or in-depth analysis on a particular topic, event, or issue, often involving interviews and storytelling techniques, and may not focus entirely on the company or organization.
  1. Profile Story: An article that focuses specifically on the history, background, accomplishments, and notable aspects of a company or individual, providing a comprehensive overview and insight into their journey, achievements, and impact.
  1. Repost: Reposting refers to the action of sharing or re-sharing content, such as articles, images, or videos, on social media platforms or other online channels. It involves sharing content that was initially created and published by someone else, with appropriate attribution and permissions.
  1. Reactive reporting: Refers to the act of journalists or reporters responding to existing stories or events and independently writing articles or stories based on their own initiative, providing their unique perspective or analysis.
  1. Sending over the wire/wire service: Sending over the wire or using a wire service refers to the distribution of press releases or news articles to a wide range of media outlets simultaneously through a commercial newswire service. This ensures broad dissemination of information to journalists, news agencies, and other subscribers.
  1. Sponsored/Paid Content: Sponsored or paid content refers to promotional material, articles, or other forms of content that are created or endorsed by a brand or organization and are published or distributed through various media channels. Sponsored content is typically identified as such and may involve payment or a partnership between the content creator and the sponsoring entity.

So, that's a wrap on our guide to PR terminology! We hope this resource has given you a solid understanding of key PR terms and concepts, helping you navigate the PR world with confidence.

But hey, we know the PR landscape is always evolving, and there might be some important terms we didn't cover. If you feel like we missed something crucial, or if you have any burning questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Drop us a line, and let's keep the PR conversation going!