The Essential PR Terms Glossary: Vocab For Digital & Traditional PR

It goes without saying that every specialist industry holds its own jargon. PR is no exception. Coming from a traditional PR background, when I was first introduced to the world of digital PR, I found that some terms were different; it would have been useful to have a PR terms glossary at my disposal.

Although some of the vocabulary belongs to both categories, it is interesting to highlight the ones that belong to either the Digital PR or the Traditional PR landscape.

Let’s remember that there is a slight difference between Traditional PR (which can be online) and Digital PR. The first shares company news, for example the launch of a product or event, and is obviously branded, while the second is used to boost a specific keyword, in order to raise the brand website’s rankings in search engines. As Relevance’s services include being a PR and digital PR agency, we felt we were best placed to write this guide, which should help you  better understand the meaning of the vocabulary used in a PR department.

Traditional PR terms glossary

Press Release – An official piece of news about a product, service or event, coming directly from a brand. A press release is sent to journalists and editors for them to write up in their publications. Most of the time a press release is a written article, but it can also be a video or a podcast. 

Boilerplate – A short summary of a company’s background. It is usually just a couple of paragraphs long and is found at the end of a press release. It gives journalists a history of the company they are reading about.

Media/press kit – This is essentially a longer version of a boilerplate, offering a lot more details. The media kit goes over the company’s history, how it came about, what its USP is, the type of products and services it offers, etc. Most of the time, a press or media kit will be complemented with video and photos that the media will be able to use.

Angle – The chosen approach to telling a story. Every journalist needs a unique way to tell a story and captivate their audience. It can be a challenge for a journalist to find a different and original angle to be different from their competition.

Embargo – A very important word in our PR terms glossary, an embargo is a specific instruction found at the top of a Press Release, used to inform journalists and editors that the news is not to be released before a particular date. It is often used to announce the launch of a product, or an event which a company wishes to announce on a specific date.

Pitch – Ideas for relevant angles on a PR, sent to an editor or to a journalist. A pitch will often propose one or two angles, and hopes to entice the recipient to write about the PR and request additional info. It can incorporate media such as video, graphic or images. 

Digital PR terms glossary

Sponsored post – A sponsored article is a type of advertising media. Instead of a banner or an advert, this is an article written for the sole purpose of boosting a keyword and getting a backlink to a company’s website from the blog/site where it will be published. This is normally a paid service.

Metrics – Digital PR agencies and marketers look for blogs with good metrics. This is data which shows how strong the blog is and how trustworthy its content is. Moz, one of the most popular pieces of software for analysing this data, measures the DA (Domain Authority) of every website from 1 (a new site which doesn’t have much content) to 100 (aka a site like Google). Moz also estimates ‘spam score’ based on various factors (good language, original content etc).

Meta Description – Composed of up to 160 characters (120 characters for mobile devices), a meta description summarises the sponsored content article and should always include the keyword for which the content is written for. It is given with the article to the blogger to be inserted in the appropriate field in the backend of the software used to publish the article (WordPress, Joomla, html). 

Anchor text – In every sponsored article, there is an “anchor”, a specific piece of clickable text which leads back to the client’s website. The choice of this text is very important in how search engines will regard the link.

Bookmarking – This the action of sharing the published content. It is always important to publish articles, but if no one reads them, it’s pointless. That’s why bookmarking is an essential word in our digital PR terms glossary. Bookmarking enables the articles to be shared across different types of channels such as Tumblr, Reddit, Hacker News, Scoop It!, etc.

Terms used in both types of PR

Backlink – This is a link from a publication back to your website – or your client’s website, if you are a digital PR agency working on others’ behalf. Although you may think that a backlink is something which specifically concerns Digital PR, it also concerns Traditional PR as nowadays, PR pieces are often published on a publication’s website. It is very good for SEO to have a branded backlink from this authority website.

Byline – Common to Digital and Traditional PR, the byline is located just below the title of an article. It gives the name of the author and sometimes the date the content was published. 

Audience – Crucial to the PR terms glossary, an audience is the people that you want to reach with a PR. This can be determined by different factors such as demographics, geographic location, preferences, and can even be segmented into specific categories.

If you wish to discuss PR in more detail, get in touch with our digital PR agency today.

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