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PR Jargon Decoded

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The public relations industry is filled with different keywords and jargon, but just like any other field, if you want to have a job in the industry you need to understand the language your co-workers are speaking. While many of the PR terms are self-explanatory, some are a bit misleading and others seem downright confusing. Luckily, you don’t have to sweat it because below are six PR words de-coded for your indulgence:

In-house: This is a term used to describe the job position of a person who works solely for one company or organization. Typically, the opposite of working in-house is working in an agency.

In a sentence: “I can’t believe Julie got a job at the bank. I hope she enjoys working in-house.”

Pitch: A pitch is a short piece of communication about an upcoming story, event, product, etc. Many PR professionals will pitch their clients to the media and aim to get them featured or recognized in a publication or show.

In a sentence: “We should pitch The Sandwich Shop to food magazines for April since it’s National Grilled Cheese Month.”

Copywriting: Copywriting is another term for writing content. It includes writing for press releases, website copy and pitches.

In a sentence: “We need to re-write the copy for the website because our client wants to better target millennials.”

Boilerplate: A boilerplate is a small description of a company that gets attached to its news releases. It provides the media with a quick glance at the company’s background.

In a sentence: “Make sure you update the boilerplate before distributing the news release.”

Trade publication: A trade publication is a publication that is marketed towards a specific trade including but not limited to the construction, automotive, education and insurance industries. Public relations professionals need to know about trade publications so they can pitch their clients’ stories to them.

Editorial Calendars: Editorial calendars, better known as ed cals, are yearly content calendars created by publications to forecast its content for the upcoming year. They are helpful to those in the public relations industry for pitching clients and researching award opportunities.

In a sentence: “Can you get me all the ed cals for fashion trades publications? We are going to pitch trench coats this fall and I want to be prepared.”

Here are two bonus terms that are not specifically PR-related, but are good for everyone to know:

EOD (End of Day): This is an operational term that you may hear around the office. It refers to deadlines that need to be met by the end of the day.

In a sentence: “We need to begin pitching tomorrow, I need a first draft by EOD.”

Capacity: Another operational term that helps your co-workers determine your workload and your ability to help them as the week goes on. It is important to be self-aware of your workload and to know when too much is too much.

In a sentence: “What is your capacity this morning? I need help on a few things.”

Whether you just graduated from college or are breaking into any industry, you should familiarize yourself with the language of your occupation. What other industry terms have you heard? If you have more questions or want a word defined, comment below.

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