Say What? PR Slang – Defined

As PR professionals, we often find ourselves in interesting conversations trying to explain what we do for a living. Truth be told, the popularity of social media and its integration into the PR and marketing mix has made it a little easier to help our family and friends “get it,” but there are still a lot of curious looks when you answer the question, “So, what is PR and what do you do as a PR professional, anyway?”

To complicate matters, we use a lot of PR lingo that makes no sense to those outside of marketing. Some of our favorite PR slang includes:

Pubs – publications, as in “we need to get media coverage in 100 pubs”

Hits – media coverage

Opp – opportunity, as in an opportunity to get media coverage

Journo – a reporter (journalist)

Pitch – note to inform/gauge interest

Running/ran – article appeared

Traction – interest/coverage

Out of the box – think beyond the obvious

Open the kimono – reveal more details

Prezo – a PowerPoint presentation

Release – a news announcement (as opposed to a product release)

Launch – the public marketing announcement of a G/A product (G/A = generally available)

B-roll – “highlights” video of something we want to promote (company, person, event), often used to show broadcast outlets the potential for a story and/or provide them with footage for the story

Ed Cals – editorial calendars (predetermined story topics by media outlets)

Boilerplate – short description of a company, most often used at the end of a press release

Evergreen – story/pitch angle that won’t fade over time, could be pitched/published at any time (as opposed to news that is only relevant during a certain period of time)

In-house – a “corporate” job where one conducts PR inside a business, as opposed to an agency job where one services several clients at once

Flack – although defined as “a publicist or promoter,” it is also a derogatory reference – often used by journalists – to describe a bad PR executive

Hack – PR’s response to “flack,” often used to describe a poor journalist or reporting job

What slang terms do you use in your profession that others might not understand without explanation? What’d we miss on the PR front? We are pretty sure our former colleague Terry Frechette will have some to add!


11 thoughts on “Say What? PR Slang – Defined

  1. Pingback: This Week’s PR News | PR-Minded

  2. Nice roundup here MissusP. We always think that terms are so common and everyone knows the meaning, but to people you work WITH, they may not be, and they may get lost. Sure, most people reading this here know these terms, but it could be a lifesaver (or at least a life preserver) to someone who doesn’t. 

    On a side note, this was very very similar to a post we’re readying for our blog (over at if you’re interested – cough*self promotion*cough), so we’re right on the same page with you. Great post.

  3. Con call = a conference call
    Ping = to call someone, especially as a reminder (“Ping me about it.”)
    Media tour = traveling with a client to meet several editors
    Show and tell = taking a client to introduce a new product to the media
    On the clock = billable hours
    The Book = samples of your hits or successful projects

  4. What is PR? I always told my clients, “It’s how you relate to your public.” In other words, it’s everything you say, and everything you do.

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