PR Glossary Of Terms

If you’re feeling a bit lost in public relations just because you have come across a PR term like “Dossier”, don’t worry!

We have created a list of all complicated PR vocabulary here with easy-to-digest explanations and examples to make things simple for you.

Whether you want to learn more PR words or just want to find meaning of something in the PR industry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s get started…!


An ad that looks like a news story.

Advertorials are designed to resemble regular articles in newspapers or magazines. They promote a product or service while blending in with the publication’s content. 

For example, a magazine might have an advertorial about a new fashion collection that seems like a fashion feature.


Publicly supporting a cause, organization, or issue.

Advocacy means speaking up for something you believe in, like supporting a charity or a social cause. When a celebrity advocates for animal rights, they’re using their fame to draw attention to the cause.


A link from one website to another.

Think of a backlink like a recommendation. When one website links to another, it’s like saying, “Hey, you should check out this site!” These links are crucial for improving a website’s position in search engine results. For instance, if a popular blog links to your online store, it can boost your store’s visibility online.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visitors who leave a website after viewing only one page.

Imagine someone walks into a store, takes a quick look, and then leaves without buying anything. The bounce rate is similar but for websites. 

If a lot of people visit a webpage and leave without clicking around or reading more, it means they “bounced” away quickly. A high bounce rate might indicate that the page needs to be more engaging.


Standard information about a company at the end of a press release.

A boilerplate is like a brief introduction about a company. It’s often added at the end of press releases to provide basic details about the company, like its history and contact information. It’s there so reporters have all the essential info they need.


A trendy or popular word or phrase.

Buzzwords are words or phrases that become popular and get used a lot, especially in business and marketing. People often use them to make something sound exciting or important. 

For example, “synergy” and “innovative” are buzzwords that are often used to make things sound more interesting than they might be.


The author’s name in a published article.

When you see a name at the top of an article, that’s the byline. It’s like giving credit to the writer, just like when an artist signs their painting. 

For example, if you see “By Jane Smith” at the top of a news article, it means Jane Smith wrote it.

Crisis Communication

Managing communication during a crisis.

It is about how a company talks to the public when something goes wrong. 

It’s like having a plan for what to say and how to say it when there’s a problem. 

For instance, if a company’s product has a safety issue, they need to communicate quickly and honestly to address the problem.


Characteristics of a population, like age or gender.

Demographics are like different pieces of a pie. They help split a big group of people into smaller groups based on things like age, gender, location, and interests. This helps organizations understand who their customers are. 

For instance, a store might use demographics to figure out what products to stock for different age groups.

Earned Media

Free media coverage through PR efforts.

When a company gets mentioned in the news without paying for it, it’s earned media. It’s like getting a free advertisement because the media thinks your story is interesting. 

For example, if a company launches a new product, and a news outlet writes a story about it, that’s earned media.

Editorial Calendar

A schedule for when to publish content.

Think of an editorial calendar like a schedule for posting content. It’s like planning what to post on social media or when to release articles. 

For instance, a magazine might use an editorial calendar to decide what topics they’ll cover in each issue for the year.


Exclusivity means offering something special to just one person or group. 

In PR, it means giving one media outlet the first opportunity to report on a story. 

For example, a celebrity might give exclusive rights to one magazine to cover their wedding, meaning other magazines can’t publish the story until later.


A person with a large online following.

An influencer is like a trendsetter or someone with a lot of online friends. They’re people who have a big presence on social media and can influence what others think or buy. 

For instance, a fashion influencer might post about a clothing brand, and their followers might want to buy the same clothes.

Key Message

The most important things you want to say.

Key messages are the main points in a conversation. When you have a lot to say, you want to make sure people remember the most important stuff. 

For example, if a company wants to launch a new product, they’ll have key messages about what’s special about the product, why people should buy it, and how it can improve their lives.


When someone talks about your brand online.

When people talk about a company or brand on social media, in reviews, or in blogs, those are mentions.

 For example, if you see someone tweeting about a great experience they had at a restaurant, that’s a mention of the restaurant.

Press Kit

Materials provided to media, including info and images.

It includes things like facts about a company, high-quality photos, and other details that reporters might need when writing a story. 

For example, if a new movie is coming out, the press kit might have photos of the actors, background info about the movie, and interviews with the director.

Reputation Management

Influencing how people perceive a brand.

Reputation management means taking care of your online image. It’s about making sure people think positively about your company or brand. 

For example, if a company faces a problem or a scandal, reputation management might involve taking steps to rebuild trust with customers and the public.


Soundbite is a short, catchy quote for media that’s easy to remember. 

It’s something a person says during an interview or a speech that stands out and gets repeated in the news. 

For example, during a political debate, a candidate might say a memorable soundbite that gets played on TV and talked about in the news.

Target Audience

The specific group you want to reach.

Think of a target audience like a group of people you want to talk to. It’s like knowing who you’re trying to have a conversation with. 

For example, if a toy company makes toys for kids, their target audience is parents who buy toys for their children, not kids.


Mass sharing of something rapidly online.

When something goes viral, it’s like a chain reaction. It means a lot of people are sharing and talking about it online, and it’s spreading quickly like a virus. 

For example, a funny cat video might go viral because people can’t stop sharing it with their friends.

White Paper

An in-depth report or guide.

A white paper is a deep dive into a topic. It’s a detailed document that provides a lot of information about a subject. 

For example, a company might release a white paper about a new technology, explaining how it works and its potential benefits.

Zoom In/Out

Focusing on details or taking a broader perspective.

Just like using a camera, when you zoom in, you’re getting closer to something to see the details. When you zoom out, you’re taking a step back to see the bigger picture. 

In PR, you might need to zoom in to handle specific issues and then zoom out to see how they fit into the overall strategy.

Elevator Pitch

It’s a brief, persuasive speech about an idea or product.

Imagine you have only a 1-minute opportunity to tell someone about your idea or product.  You might want to keep it quick, short and persuasive to convey your idea effectively.

For example, if you’re trying to get investors interested in your startup, you need an elevator pitch that explains what your business does and why it’s exciting in just a minute or two.

Brand Identity

The unique elements that define a brand.

Brand identity is the personality of a company. It includes things like the company’s logo, colors, style, and the feelings it wants to evoke in customers. 

For example, Apple’s brand identity is all about simplicity and innovation, which is reflected in its sleek product designs and minimalist advertising.

Buzz Marketing

Creating excitement and anticipation around a product or event.

Buzz marketing is when a company propagates a buzz or a lot of excitement around their new product launch. 

It’s about generating anticipation and interest in something new. 

For example, a movie studio might use buzz marketing to build excitement for an upcoming film by releasing teaser trailers and behind-the-scenes footage.


Media mentions or stories about a topic.

Coverage is a news article or report about something. It’s when the media talks about a specific event, product, or topic. 

For instance, when a new smartphone is released, it might get a lot of coverage in tech magazines and news websites.


A request to withhold publishing information until a specified date.

An embargo is when a company or organization asks the media not to publish a story or information until a certain date or time. 

For example, if a tech company wants to announce a new product on a specific date, they might ask reporters to honor an embargo until that date.

Press Release

A written announcement sent to media outlets to share news.

Press releases are the official announcements in writing. They are sent to newspapers, TV stations, and websites to inform them about something newsworthy, like a product launch or company milestone. 

For example, a company might send a press release to announce a charity event.


The interaction of different elements to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

Synergy is like teamwork. When different things work together, they can create a more powerful result. 

In PR, it might mean that combining social media, traditional media, and events can have a greater impact on a campaign’s success.

Crisis Plan

A predetermined strategy for handling unexpected problems or emergencies.

A crisis plan outlines what steps to take, who to contact, and how to communicate during a crisis. 

For example, an airline might have a crisis plan for responding to accidents or safety issues.

UGC (User-Generated Content)

Content created by customers or users rather than by a brand or organization.

It can be reviews, photos, videos, or social media posts made by people who love your product or brand. 

For instance, customers sharing pictures of themselves using a product on Instagram is UGC.

Media Outlet

A platform or organization that publishes news.

They can be newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, magazines, or online news websites. 

For example, CNN and The New York Times are well-known media outlets.


Changing the image, name, or identity of a brand.

It can involve changing logos, slogans, or even the name of a company to create a fresh image. 

For example, when a fast-food chain updates its logo and menu to appeal to a more health-conscious audience, it’s rebranding.

Crisis Response

The actions taken to address and manage a crisis situation.

It includes things like communicating with the public, resolving the issue, and preventing further harm. 

For instance, a car manufacturer’s crisis response might involve recalling defective vehicles to ensure safety.

Media Monitoring

Media monitoring means tracking and analyzing on what the news is saying about you or your company. 

It helps PR professionals understand how their brand is portrayed in the media and how people are reacting to it.

Media Pitch

A persuasive message sent to journalists or editors to propose a story idea.

It is a suggestion for a news story that PR professionals write and send to journalists, hoping to persuade them that their story idea is worth covering. 

For example, a publicist might pitch a story about a local charity event to a newspaper editor.

Unlinked Mention

Unlinked mention is reference to a brand, product, or website in online content that does not include a clickable hyperlink.

For instance, if a blogger talks about a new smartphone model in his article without adding a link to the manufacturer’s website, it’s considered an unlinked mention.

Unlinked mentions are important in digital marketing and PR because they can still contribute to brand awareness and reputation, even though they don’t directly drive traffic or SEO benefits. 

They are often monitored to gauge the brand’s online presence and to identify potential opportunities for link-building or engagement with content creators.

Journalist Query / Query

Query is a formal request for information or assistance made by a journalist to gather insights, quotes, data, or sources for a news story.

It is a direct request from a journalist seeking from the sources.

For example, a journalist might send a query to a PR professional asking for an expert’s insights on a current industry trend and use it in their stories.

Earned Media

Media coverage or mentions of a brand, product, or organization that are gained through public relations efforts rather than paid advertising.

It is a free publicity when the media, bloggers, or social media users talk about your brand because they find it interesting or newsworthy. 

For instance, if a fashion magazine features your clothing line in an article without you paying for it, that’s earned media.

Paid Media

Promotional content or advertising space that a brand or organization pays for to reach its target audience.

It includes things like display ads, sponsored posts on social media, and paid search results on search engines. 

For example, if a company pays to have its banner ad displayed on a popular website, that’s paid media.

Owned Media

Digital assets and platforms owned and controlled by a brand or organization, such as websites, blogs, and social media accounts.

These are the places where a brand has full control over content and can directly interact with its audience. 

For example, a company’s website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel are all examples of owned media.

Media Request / Media Request Form

Media request form is an online form used by journalists to request information, interviews, or assistance from experts, PR professionals or organizations.

It streamlines the process for journalists to seek information or connect with the right person to talk to. 

It’s like a formal way for reporters to express their needs for assistance promptly. 

For example, a news outlet might have a media request form on their website for journalists to request interviews with experts.

Journo Request / Journorequest

Journorequest is an informal term used on social media platforms, particularly Twitter, where journalists seek information or sources for stories by posting requests.

It a shorthand way for journalists to ask for help or information from the public or PR professionals. 

It’s often used on platforms like Twitter, where reporters post their requests with specific details. For example, a journalist might tweet, “Looking for experts in cybersecurity for an article. #Journorequest.”

Press Pitch

Press pitch is a concise and persuasive message or proposal sent by PR professionals to journalists or editors to pitch a story idea.

It’s a well-crafted message that outlines the potential newsworthy aspects of a story and convinces journalists to cover it. 

For example, a PR professional might send a press pitch to a newspaper editor, proposing a story about a local charity event and explaining why it’s relevant to their readers.

Expert Roundup

An expert roundup is when you ask a bunch of experts for their advice or opinions on a single topic and then share their answers in one place. It’s like making a list of tips from subject matter experts (SMEs).

For example, if you ask ten chefs for their favorite cooking tips and publish their answers in a one blog post. This blog will be known as expert roundup blog.

It’s a great way to build relationships with potential clients, customers or target audience. Offers A FREE Expert Roundup Article For Your Blog.”


Story is a written or multimedia report created by a journalist to inform, educate, analyze or entertain the audience about a specific news event, topic, or issue.

Journalists research, write, and publish stories to convey facts, share insights, or tell the public about important developments. 

For example, a news story might cover a political election, a natural disaster, or a feature story about a local hero.


An individual or organization providing information, data, quotes, or expertise to journalists or writers for use in news articles or stories.

Journalists rely on sources to provide accurate and credible information for their stories. 

Sources can be experts, witnesses, officials, or anyone with relevant information. 

For example, a police officer may serve as a source for a news story about a recent crime.

Thought Leader

An individual recognized as an expert in a particular field or industry is often sought after for their insights and opinions.

Thought leaders are known for their expertise, innovative ideas, and influence within their industry. 

For instance, in the tech industry, Elon Musk is considered a thought leader for his pioneering work in electric vehicles and space exploration. Thought leaders are often sought after for their opinions and insights, making them valuable assets in PR and marketing strategies.


An editorial is an article where someone shares their opinion and thoughts, not just sharing the facts. They often appear in newspapers and magazines to discuss various topics.

For example, you might have seen an article in the newspaper discussing why recycling is important and shares their views on how it benefits the environment.


A gatekeeper is someone who decides what news can be shared with the public, choosing what stories appear in the news.

You can think of them as the person or team who acts like a filter, making sure only the most important and accurate news gets through to the public.


A lede is like the first part of a news story that tells you the most important details upfront, like a sneak peek.

It’s the introduction of a news story that grabs your attention and gives you the key facts right away, so you know what’s happening.

In a news story about a major sports event, the lede might say who won the game and broke a record in the very first sentence.


A dossier is like a collection of papers with lots of information about something, kind of like a super-detailed report with facts, and details, often used for research, investigations, or keeping track of important information.

For example: A detective’s dossier on a complex case contains witness statements, evidence photos, and suspect profiles, all neatly organized for analysis.

Off the Record

Off the record means having a talk without sharing names or details publicly. It’s like keeping something secret, especially from the general public.

For example, a politician might speak with a journalist off the record to provide background information about a sensitive issue, with the condition that their name won’t be mentioned in the news article.


Spin is what makes news look better or worse by the way you talk about it, shaping how people perceive it by telling a story with a certain angle or emphasis that can make something seem more positive or negative than it really is.

For example, a company may use spin in a press release, emphasizing how they’ve “overcome challenges” instead of admitting they faced difficulties during the year.


A masthead is like a list of people who work for a newspaper, similar to the credits at the end of a movie.

It’s a section that shows the names and roles of the editorial team and other contributors who create and manage the content of a publication.

In a magazine’s masthead, you’ll find the names of the editor-in-chief, writers, photographers, designers, and other staff responsible for producing the magazine.


An obituary is like a story that remembers someone who passed away, celebrating their life and achievements.

It’s a tribute to a person’s life, often highlighting their accomplishments, family, and the impact they had on others.

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