De-mystifying PR Jargon
In Public Relations, as with any other profession, people talk in shorthand and expect you to learn the terms quickly. Here’s a quick guide to understanding the jargon that a communications team may sling your way.
Heard When Building a Communications Plan
- Goal – A big idea you want to accomplish. (Make organza a preferred fabric)
- Strategy – The approach you take to achieve a goal. (Collaborate with retail designers to provide information about the fabric and how it fits into many design aesthetics. The designers can then lend credibility to the fabric and commission a few pieces.)
- Objective – A measurable step you take to achieve a strategy. (Sell 20 percent more yards of organza than last year.)
- Tactic – The tool(s) you use to accomplish the goal, meet the objectives and fulfill the strategy. (Send a free product sample and design inspiration pamphlet.)
- Key Messages – The most important points you want to get across to your audience. (Organza is the perfect lightweight fabric for the summer and still versatile enough to layer in the winter!)
- Target Audiences – The audiences – people, group, etc. – that an organization wants to reach with communications. (Fast fashion retail buyers, i.e., Forever 21, H&M, etc.)
- Stakeholders – Audiences that can affect or be affected by the organization’s actions, objectives and policies. (Fashion photographers.)
Somethings You May Hear Day-to-Day
- Embargo – The sharing of unannounced information between an organization and the media not to publish before an agreed-upon time and date. This can be tricky, so use strategically, if at all.
- Leverage – Using money, reputation or relationships to gain an advantage. (You know a designer who can help give exposure to the fabric, so you reach out and see if they will help.)
- Influencer – A personality with a loyal audience they’ve earned by sharing content, insights, personal stories, etc. that connects them with their followers.
- Trade Publication – A publication for a specific industry or subset of people, usually not for consumption by the general public. (Vogue is consumer-facing, Apparel News is a trade publication.)
Doesn’t This All Cost A Lot? It Doesn’t Have To!
- Earned Media – This is material written about you or your program that isn’t paid for or created internally and is published by a third party. (This can be as simple as an Instagram influencer tagging your brand without being asked to do so.)
- Owned Media – This is content created internally, such as company blogs, company website and social media profiles.
- Paid Media – This applies to when you pay to make your content more visible. Boosting posts on social media, advertorials in print publications, working with an influencer who has a niche audience.
Heard When Trying to Figure Out If the Communications Plan is Successful
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – You’ll often hear them referred to as KPIs and they help to measure the success of strategic goals and objectives. This is how organizations know they are on track. (Quick example: how many people are following your brand on Twitter and how does this compare to this time last year?) KPIs is a term shared among the business world but it’s important to know the few most often tracked in the PR world. A few common KPIs:
- Engagement – The total number of interactions with a piece of content or communication; this includes likes, comments, shares, views, etc.
- Impressions – the number of persons that have potentially viewed a communication piece.
- Coverage/Clip/Hits – An article, story, blog or segment that mentions the organization, product, etc. Often packaged into a report and given to clients.
Ready to get past the jargon and get to work? Reach out to Anthology Communications firstname.lastname@example.org.