Naturally Public Relations is a field with many, many aspects. Yes, you are dealing with the ‘public’ and yes you are dealing with ‘relationships’. Possibly the two most complex concepts in our human world. Resulting from this you will be encountering a vast range of terms and phrases - I have listed them alphabetical and will link in later posts back to them for your reference. If you take the time to go through them, you will quickly gather an understanding that PR touches on all levels of human interaction, mindsets and language.
You will also notice that some terms used in PR have completely different meanings in other fields – especially media folk just love their own secret language
Active audience – audience members who already are interested in an organization, issue, or cause. Instead of waiting to receive information on it, they seek it out from many sources and when doing so, they speak as well as listen.
Actuality – A news report from the scene. It includes ambient or natural sound and may feature statements by an on-scene reporter, witness/participant comments, an interview with a knowledgeable source, etc.
Advertising - Preparation, purchase and placement of purposefully planned and executed messages in selected media to further the interest of an organization or person. Persuasive material that is presented to the public as the acknowledged appeal of an identified party who has paid to have it appear.
Advertising value equivalency (AVE) - is the amount in dollars a story would cost if it appeared as paid advertising. It is determined by multiplying the size/length of the story by the advertising rate for the relevant publication or station.
Angle – The approach or perspective from which a news situation or event is viewed or the hook chosen for a story. (See news values)
Assignment – Instruction to a reporter to cover an event.
Attitudes – Enduring systems of positive and negative evaluations, emotional feelings, and pro or con action tendencies with respect to social objects – people, places, things, and ideas.The attitudes of individual citizens are the raw material out of which a consensus develops. Influencing an individual’s attitudes is a prime task of the practitioner. Consequently, he or she must know their source, their organization as reflected in the person’s value system and personality, and the processes that bring attitude change.
Attribution – Identification of the source of a fact, judgment, or quotation.
Audience or market share (TV/Radio) – the percentage of those people listening to radio or watching TV who are tuned to a particular station at a particular time out of total Audience on all measured stations
Audio news release (ANR) - Most of these taped news releases, sent to radio stations, feature voice actualities of organization spokespersons or representatives. An ANR may be sent with paper copy of a wrapper to be used by the newscaster. The wrapper also may be pre-recorded. An ANR usually contains spot news or an organization’s reaction to spot news or a current issue.
Audio phone feed - Providing radio stations with a special number they can call to tape one or two minutes (or less) of information you have recorded for continuous automatic sending. This provides stations with actualities they can use.
Beat – The specific area (politics, environment, crime, etc.) covered by a particular reporter.
Benchmark - refers to a point of reference for measuring coverage of an issue or campaign. It’s a standard or yardstick used when measuring progress in a campaign.
Billboard announcement - A brief message, submitted by non-profit or community groups, on community needs and activities. They are run free of charge on community cable television channels.
Brand refers to all the tangible and intangible attributes of a brand (product or organization) that create an image in the public mind.
- Brand associations – the knowledge and feelings consumers associate with a brand name. This may include expectations for brand performance
- Brand character/personality – using human qualities and attributes to describe the brand (use, function, performance, etc.).
- Brand character statement – a synopsis of the brand’s character and personality, often including information on how the brand embodies corporate values. Some brand character statements include a mirror effect, i.e., they compliment those who use the product or service, thereby reflecting the customer’s intelligence, good taste, etc.
- Brand commitment – the degree of loyalty a consumer feels for a particular brand. It is expressed by the consumer’s likelihood to buy that brand again and/or recommend it to others.
Brand equity is value attributed to a brand in the marketplace as expressed by the opinions and behavours of customers, other consumers, key influencers, opinion leaders, etc. Brand essencecaptures the promise of the brand in a couple of words that express its key benefit to consumers. Brand identity involves the physical and visual “look” of the brand, including its name and package design (colour, packaging materials, font, graphics, etc.) Brand positioning is the niche the brand occupies in the minds of a key audience or in the public mind at large. A brand positioning statement is the brief written description of the desired niche or position. Brand tone of voice establishes how the “brand” speaks to consumers, i.e., a little cheeky, serious and authoritative, fun, etc. This tone is used in all communications.Brand management ensures that everything everyone associated with the brand says and does (deliberately and inadvertently) supports all the brand’s promises and expectations. This often is called 360-degree branding.
Briefing Book – A collection, often in a loose-leaf binder, of briefing material provided to management or other corporate spokespersons prior to a news conference or other event. It consists of potential questions plus suggested answers and, often, fact sheets, backgrounders, etc.
Bumper – In broadcast, a brief item or transitional device used between segments of a program such as a newscast. It can be as simple as “we’ll return after these messages.”
Buzz - refers to the excitement caused by a product, celebrity, company, etc. It’s often generated by extensive media coverage.
Also: Information about an organization, issue, event, or cause that earns space and/or time in media. As a public relations strategy or tactic, it can be defined as the dissemination of purposefully planned and executed messages to selected media to further the interest of an organization or individual without specific payment to that media.
Byline – The writer’s/reporter’s name, usually at the beginning of the news item, story, column, etc.
Bylined articles - Articles written mostly for trade and business publications. The article byline is that of a key player in the submitting organization.
Camera-ready features - Columns or feature stories – usually evergreens – ready to be used by a newspaper. They include heads, graphics, and photos and are sent either on glossy sheets (repro proofs), disk, or CD-ROM or are posted on the organization’s website. They comply with newspaper standards in that they seldom mention the name of a product or company more than once. The content either is newsworthy in itself or the facts presented bestow a benefit upon the reader. (Also called sponsored editorials.)
Cause-related marketing – a business arrangement between the organization and a nonprofit entity. Although there may be elements of philanthropy, as the name implies, it’s primarily a marketing technique as it’s most often done on a prid-pro-quo basis. It may be based on purchase-triggered donations where a business promises to donate an agreed-upon sum to a cause whenever a specific product or service is sold. It could involve providing funds to help sponsor an event that furthers the organization’s interest or is consistent with the organization’s values or it may revolve around commemorative giving where the organization or product name is featured prominently and publicly with the monetary “gift.”
Channel – The means or pathway through which a message is transmitted from source to receiver.
Chatter sheets - Sheets with interesting, timely, and brief bits of information (e.g. trivia, historical milestones, consumer tips, etc.) on themes or topics relevant to an organization that are sent to Radio hosts/DJs to use during their shows.
Clip count - refers to the total number of stories that mention a client company, product or campaign.
Column – An opinion piece written by a staff or syndicated columnist. Many columnists are published on a regular basis.
Communication Management - The public relations role that calls for developing communications objectives that are consistent with an organization’s overall objectives. As two-way communicators, public relations practitioners interact directly with key publics, relaying the resulting information (with recommendations) to other members of the management team.
Community calendar announcement- A brief description (who, what, when, where, and perhaps why) of a community need or activity, included in a radio or television “community calendar” segment.
Community notice - A brief description (who, what, when, where, and perhaps why) of a community event, need, etc., listed free in a special section of a newspaper or periodical. (Those focusing on events often are called event listings.)
Community Relations - A public relations function consisting of an organization’s planned, active and continuing participation with and within a community to maintain and enhance its environment to the benefit of both the organization and the community. This can involve partnerships, volunteer activities, philanthropic contributions and public participation.
Connotative meaning – The emotional or evaluative meaning we read into words because of our experience and background.
Content and nature of quotes – an amalgamation of what was said/printed in the media, who was quoted in the story, including the quotes themselves as well as the source – media, organizational spokesperson, and/or third party.
Content measures - are evaluations of how web content – facts, opinions, messages, etc. about an organization, issue, or topic – is accessed, adapted, shared, and amplified on a site or sites or across the web.
Context – The communications setting.
Controlled circulation - is the method of distributing publications free of charge (usually in bulk) to specific areas, groups of people, or locations.
Conversation measures - study online conversations (tweets, blog posts and comments, linkbacks, etc.) related to an organization, issue, etc. The conversation may be measured by quantity, tone/sentiment, message fidelity, etc. One such content measure is the conversation index or conversation rate, created by dividing the total number of posts by the number of relevant comments and trackbacks. Sometimes, this measurement evaluates the prominence and sphere of influence enjoyed by those participating in a relevant conversation. Some go even further, connecting those conversations to an organization’s objectives relating to knowledge or awareness, attitudes towards the organization, and desired behaviours.
Copy – Anything written for publication or broadcast.
Copy desk – The desk used by copy editors to read and edit copy as well as write print headlines (if necessary).
Corporate Philanthropy - Recognition of corporate obligations and responsibilities to communities by making monetary and other contributions to charitable organizations.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) - is a combination of several management roles as it centres around the organization’s strategies for being – and being seen as – a good corporate citizen.
Corporate Sponsorship - Providing support to an event or a cause by devoting corporate resources in exchange for an opportunity to enhance good will, product image and sales.
Correction – Errors that reach publication are retracted or corrected if they are serious or if someone demands a correction.
Crisis Management - Establishing methods and policies to be used when an organization’s operations become involved in an emergency affecting the public. This includes policies and procedures for the distribution of information to employees, media, government and other key publics.
Culture – All the ideas, knowledge, traditions, beliefs, norms and values that are widely known and accepted by individuals in a society.
- Subculture – A group that shares some of the cultural elements of the larger society, but also has its own distinctive values, beliefs, norms, etc.
- Counterculture – A subculture that rejects conventional norms and values and adopts alternative ones.
- Cultural diffusion – The process by which cultural elements spread from their point of origin to another group or another society.
- Cultural innovation – The invention and introduction into a culture of new ideas, objects, or methods of doing things.
- Cultural universals – Practices or traits that are found in every known human culture.
- Ideal culture – The set of values people claim to believe in, not the culture they express in their actual behaviour.
- Real culture – The culture people express in their actual behaviour.
- Material culture – The physical and technological aspects of a culture.
- Non-material culture – All the aspects of a culture that do not have a physical existence. Eg., values, beliefs, etc.
- Ethnocentrism – The tendency for individuals in a society to view their culture (and its values, norms, and beliefs) as superior to others.
Delivered audience – all potential or actual viewers, readers, listeners, or participants who can be reached.
Demographics- refers to the social and economic characteristics of a group of households or individuals. Commonly used demographics include age, gender, mother tongue, employment, and household income.
Denotative meaning – The common dictionary meaning of a word, generally accepted by most people with the same language and culture.
Development - Fundraising activities and membership drives designed to influence an organization’s relationships with various publics.
Digital rights management (DRM) - refers to access control methods that limit usage of digital content to protect publishers and copyright holders.
Editorial – An opinion piece written by the editorial page editor or a member of the publication’s editorial board.
Editorial calendar - Many publications, primarily trade and business periodicals, plan content and themes up to a year in advance. An editorial calendar lists the special editorial focus for each issue.
Effect – The outcome of communications.
Effective audience – all potential or actual viewers, readers, listeners, or participants in the target audience who are part of the delivered audience.
Embargo – An agreement between the media and the source not to use a story until an agreed-upon date/time.
Employee Relations - Employee Relations Dealing and communicating with the employees of an organization. This can include team building and employee empowerment.
Endmark – A symbol (usually -30-) used at the end of news copy and news releases to indicate “the end.”
Engagement – a measurement of the nature and extent of audience engagement through two-way conversations, the sharing of information, and other interactions such as subscribership. Included in this measurement are such considerations as reach and tone delivered by blog posts and comments, linkbacks, tweets, and retweets.
Exclusive – A story only one reporter or small group of reporters has obtained.
External Communications - Controlled and uncontrolled messages disseminated in the mass media as well as other communications media, including pamphlets, brochures, non-broadcast videos, speeches, etc.
Feature - A story that gives detailed information on an issue, a trend, a situation, an industry, a company or organization, or a person. A feature often focuses on the human element, and most are designed to enlighten, entertain, and/or educate. Feature stories can be submitted to community newspapers and magazines (query first) on paper or on disk. Camera-ready features can be created and sent to community newspapers as well. Ideas for features can be pitched to various media.
Feedback – The return of information to the source of a message.
Field of experience – Each person’s storehouse of experiences.
Filler - A short piece of interesting but minor or untimely material that the print media can use to either fill space or to provide community interest information
Financial Relations - Dealing and communicating with firms and interest groups within the organization’s industry.
Flag – The printed title of the newspaper on page one. (This often is incorrectly called the masthead.)
Flare – The main story on page one. Also known as a splash.
Focus statement– a succinct statement that summarizes what was learned about the situation. It is found at the end of the situation analysis.
Formative research - is done at the beginning of a campaign or project to gather and/or consult information on the organization itself, the issues that affect it, its stakeholders, message content, and appropriate media to reach audiences.
Free Speech message - The broadcast version of the guest editorial, these are opinions presented by an individual or group on a topic of general public interest. They are taped at the radio or TV station.
Frequency - measures the number of times (within a specific period) an audience potentially receives a message.
Gatekeeper – A person who has the power to control and direct the flow of information as well as the ability to limit, expand, emphasize or interpret that information.
Gender roles – Culturally defined attitudes and behaviours that are widely accepted as appropriate for men and for women.
Government Relations - Dealing and communicating with legislatures and government agencies on behalf of an organization.
Graphics – All visual materials such as charts, graphs, photographs, etc.
Guest editorial – an opinion piece written by someone outside the publication who is an expert or has particular insight on an issue, event, or situation.
Also: An analysis of or commentary on news events or public concerns, written by someone outside the publication whose credibility is based on his/her knowledge of a particular subject and/or position in an organization.
Impact - is determined by measuring how prominence is amplified by tone and/or message fidelity. For example, a positive front page story – with an accompanying large flattering photo and multiple spokesperson and third-party quotes delivering the desired messages – in a daily newspaper reaching an audience that matches that of the organization could be judged to have a high impact. While impact evaluation processes for social media are ever-evolving, one such measurement revolves around engagement.
Impressions - tally the total number of times the potential audience (including duplications) was exposed to a message within a specific period. This is calculated by multiplying the number of people who potentially received it (reach) by the number of times (frequency) they potentially were exposed to it. In visual media, impressions can also be called opportunities to see. The use of the word “potential” is key as this type of measurement deals only with those who might have seen something – not with those who actually saw it, understood it, or acted upon it.
Intermediate research - is done to monitor progress in the midst of a campaign or project. It can include monitoring the ebb and flow of people visiting a website, tracking the number and type of participants attending a multi-day event, and gathering data on the type and nature of inquires. The information gained allows for major overhauls or tiny tweaks to ensure success.
Internal Communications - Planned messages disseminated to employees through a variety of communications channels, including newsletters, bulletin boards, payroll stuffers, posters, etc.
Intervening audience – a group that can intervene with target audiences by passing on – even endorsing your message. This audience often is made up of individuals who are opinion leaders or key influencers with your target audience.
Issue - refers to any subject or topic that is being tracked and analyzed. For an issue to earn media coverage, it usually is a public issue, i.e., a problem, opportunity, question, or choice faced by or greatly affecting society or some segment of society.
Issues Management - This involves identifying problems, issues and trends relevant to an organization and then developing and executing a program to deal with them. Included is the study of public policy matters of concern to an organization.
Jump – To continue a story from one page to another.
Jump head – the headline, using the same words as in the jump line, on the continuation of a jumped story.
Jump line – a line inserted where the jump occurs to direct the reader to the rest of the story.
Kill – Pulling a story at any stage of the process. A story may be killed before it is even written or it may make it into the news line-up only to be killed later – sometimes at the 11th hour.
Language – An abstract system of sounds (speech), signs (written characters), and gestures (non-verbal communication) by which members of a society express their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and desires.
Lead – The print story’s opening paragraph.
Lead-in – Introductory comments to a taped or live story on a news event or situation. The lead-in often provides context for the upcoming story.
Letter to the editor - A letter written for and sent to a newspaper or magazine to – among other things – present an organization’s position, make a correction, or respond to another story or letter.
Line-up – The order in which stories are arranged in a newscast.
Listenership/viewership – data on listeners (radio) and viewers (television), including the size of the cumulative audience, the number of listeners as a quarter-hour average, the average hours tuned by listeners, and the audience share in a particular market. This information is available by specific demographic groups (age, gender, etc.).
Live – A field report, newscast, or other report that is not recorded. Also, any material read on air in real time.
Lobbying - Direct attempts to influence legislative and regulatory decisions in government. A lobbyist is either an individual (government relations consultant, lawyer, accountant, etc.) who, for pay, provides certain types of lobbying services on behalf of a client but also includes employees whose jobs involve a significant amount of lobbying for their employers.
Masthead – The formal statement of the publication’s name, officers, place of publication, and other descriptive information. It usually is printed on the editorial or op-ed page.
Media advisory - A written notice sent to media providing information (who, what, when, where, and why) on a news conference or other newsworthy but not necessarily immediate story or event the sponsoring organization would like covered.
Media alert - A written notice sent to media providing information (who, what, when, where, and why) on harder, more timely news. If alerts are used indiscriminately, the effect becomes muted.
Media analysis/monitoring service– A firm that aggregates information gathered by traditional and social media content providers, using its software to compile and analyze that information – sometimes further refined by human analysts. The resulting media intelligence is packaged according to client specifications and delivered to those clients in a timely fashion, i.e., as close to real-time as possible. Organizations use this media intelligence to determine what is being said – positive or negative – about the organization itself, its brand, or an issue that can affect it. Among other things, media monitoring and analysis can help organizations track publicity campaigns, discover the nature and extent of various social trends, and obtain insight on how media and other opinion leaders are responding to their products and messages.
Media audience – all those individuals who read, watch, or listen to a specific media outlet. Many media organizations compile demographic and psychographic information on their audiences.
Media contact list - A list of organizational experts, with the topics or subject matter on which they are qualified. A contact list can be supplied to the media as paper copy, on disk, or on your website
Media directory - Practitioners can buy a general (all media), geographical (Canada, U.S., European, etc.), specialty (health, business, environment) or customized listing of publications and broadcast stations that includes key personnel, contact information, etc. The directory may be in print form, on CD–ROM, software, or online.
Media list - A list of media outlets, with key news gatherers and gatekeepers relevant to an organization’s publicity objectives and audiences. It includes names, titles, contact information, and often brief information on features and deadlines. Using a variety of resources, including media directories, practitioners can create and update their own lists. If funds are available, they can subscribe to an electronic service such as Marketwire.etc.
Media Relations - Dealing and communicating with the news media when seeking publicity or responding to reporters’ questions. It also involves setting up and maintaining a professional and mutually beneficial working relationship with news gatherers and gatekeepers, in part by becoming known as a credible source and as a provider of factual, expert information whether or not that information results in media coverage.
Media relevance – the criteria that determine the relevance of a specific medium to the organization’s target audience. This can be assessed by how closely the composition of the media audience – demographics and/or psychographics – matches that of the organization’s audience.
Media type – the type of media – daily newspaper, blog, television station, community newspaper, business publication, etc. – covering the story.
Message – The content of the communicative act.
Message fidelity - delivers information on how well the message conveyed by the media matched the message or messages the organization wanted to communicate.
Mission statement – a brief, concise description of an organization’s raison d’être – sets the tone for the organization and its relationships, captures its character and values, and identifies, in a general way, those it serves.
Multiple channel approach – Communicating a message through a variety of channels, including various mass media, personal conversation, meetings, etc.
Newsbreak – A brief segment with a couple news headlines and/or teasers to encourage viewers or listeners to tune in for the complete newscast.
News bulletin – A brief story on an important and often breaking news event that may cut into regular TV or radio programs.
News release - A news story written for and released to the news media, particularly newspaper. News releases submitted to newspaper are written according to CP style guidelines. When a news release is prepared for radio, it is written according to BN style guidelines. A news release can be distributed on paper, on disk, by email, by a PR newswire, or posted on a website. A news release has a flag with the word(s) News or News Release in large type near the top of the “page.” When the information in a release is community oriented, the flag can read Community News. Other alternatives include Sports News, Business News, etc.
News values – are those factors that determine the newsworthiness of events and situations. Although the following terms may differ from text book to text book and newsroom to newsroom, the essence of each is contained in all.
- Impact – information about events/situations that are likely to affect a significant number of people in the media audience.
- Timeliness – information about events/situations that is appropriate to the audience at the time it is published or aired. It may be that the information is timely now, it may involve that it is relevant to the season or a timely observance, or it may tie into a relevant anniversary.
- Prominence – information about events/situations involving well-known personalities or institutions.
- Proximity – information on events/situations occurring in an area covered by a particular media outlet or those that hit “close to home” psychologically with the media audience.
- Human interest– information on events/situations that touch human emotions.
- Unusualness – information of events/situations that deviate sharply from the expected or the ordinary. This may range from a little oddball to the bizarre and everything in between.
- Interest – information about events/situations that are likely to captivate the interest of a large number of people in the media audience.
Noise – Anything that interferes with the ability to send or receive messages.
Norms – Rules of behaviour that specify appropriate and inappropriate behaviour for people in society.
- Folkways – Norms that are looked upon by members of a society or group within the society as not being extremely important and that may be violated without severe punishment or negative social sanctions.
- Mores – Norms that are looked upon by members of a society or a group within the society as being extremely important and that when violated result in severe punishment.
- Taboos – Powerful social beliefs that a particular activity, food, place, etc. is totally repulsive.
Omnibus issues monitoring/analysis - monitoring/ analysis undertaken by a group of noncompeting organizations who share the cost of gathering media intelligence on a situation or issue.
Op-ed page – In many newspapers, this is the page opposite the editorial page. It can contain staff/syndicated columns, guest editorials, letters to the editor, etc.
Opinion – A response to a question about a controversial topic.
Opinion Leader – Those who knowingly or unknowingly influence other people’s opinions on certain subjects.
Organizational almanac – a document that provides a history of the organization, including accomplishments, activities, and milestones.
Organizational goals – a document that contains short-term, medium-term, long-term, and sustaining goals relating to the organization’s overall internal and external relationships and planned progress. Departments, such as sales and marketing, also create goals to add to this document.
Organizational messages – long-term messages along with facts and data that back them up. Acore message is a very brief message that encapsulates why an organization exists. This short phrase relates to the mission and is sufficiently broad to work with all key messages. It may be included in the organizational boilerplate. Key messages define what an organization does to fulfill its mission. Each goes with the core message as it provides more specific details. (Wherever possible, practitioners include proof points – facts and data that back up the key messages.)
Organizational standards manual – a document that contains standards for ensuring quality and consistency in how the organizational image is communicated. It provides rules on how the organization’s name and logo (font, size, colour, etc.) are to be used and may also give guidelines for such style concerns as abbreviations, spelling, trademark terminology, etc. It also may contain an overall boilerplate for the organization as well as boilerplates to be used when describing products and/or services.
Organizational values – a list (often with an explanation) of the values to which the organization subscribes. The document reflects the approach the organization takes to its publics, provides insight on its world view, and helps define and direct its commitment to corporate social responsibility
Outcome measures - are used to evaluate how content measures correlate with outcome objectives.
Outcome objectives - specify the result(s) – knowledge, attitude, and/or behaviour – sought with a specific stakeholder group, public, and/or audience
P’s of marketing ( four P’s of marketing) is a concept used to encompass the four factors to be considered – product, price, place, and promotion (including advertising and public relations). Some marketing experts include two additional factors or P’s: people and performance.
- People – those associated with the organization, such as front-line employees, distributors, and franchisees whose actions and reactions can affect the organization’s overall reputation and sales.
- Performance – an amalgamation of the other five P’s related to the product/service. In other words, if it is priced right, promoted properly, distributed conveniently, and backed up by friendly, helpful, knowledgeable people – it will have performed well in the eyes of consumers.
Paid circulation - is a distribution method where readers pay for the publication.
Passive audience – audience members who are not interested in an organization, issue, or cause or who are not interested at a specific time. Very few groups are made up entirely of active or passive members. The key often is to determine where the majority sits.
Peer group – A group of interacting companions who usually share similar social characteristics (for example, age, gender, social class, religion, etc), interests, tastes, and values.
Perception – The way we perceive individuals, institutions, situations, etc.
Persuasion - The basic objective to most public relations programs is to change or neutralize hostile opinions, to crystallize unformed or latent opinions, or to conserve favourable opinions by reinforcing them. This is done through persuasion. Primarily a communications process, persuasion is an effort to convey information in such a way as to get people to revise old pictures in their heads, or form new ones, and thus change their behaviour.
Pitch letter or memo - A one-page pitch in letter or memo format that sells the recipient on having a specific person participate in a public affairs program or talk show, providing expert opinion for a breaking story, or participating in a joint contest or other promotion. A TV memo is a type of pitch memo designed specifically to sell TV gatekeepers on story ideas, while a query letter is a type of pitch memo directed to editors of periodicals.
Placeline – The placeline identifies the geographical location of where the news event is taking place or the reporter’s base when writing about an event or situation.
Placement – where the story was placed in the media. In print, it could range from the front page to page 52 or in the sports or world news section. In broadcast, placement is where the story was aired in the newscast (lead story, story number five, etc.). In new media, it could refer to the space it occupies on a blog, the number of mentions on Twitter, etc.
Play – The way media covers a story. It may be played up or played down.
Pool – A small group of reporters chosen to cover an event for other reporters when the number allowed is limited by the newsmaker. When the newsmaking organisation has the power and ability to do so, it may embed reporters with those participating in the event.
Predisposition – Being inclined to do or not do something when an issue arises.
Primary group – In a primary group, members have an emotional bond to one another such that the individual’s place in that group can never be filled by another person.
Primary socialization – This occurs during childhood when the individual learns the culture and lifestyle of his/her own particular group
Print circulation – the total number of copies of a publication available to subscribers as well as via newsstands, vending machines, and other delivery systems.
Process objectives - are set so the practitioner can measure outputs – what was done during every stage of the project or campaign. Information gathered is used to maintain, change or refine strategies and tactics for a future endeavour.
Product plug - An agreement between a producer and a company to use a product or service in exchange for a product/service mention
Prominence - refers to the attention a story on an organization, brand, issue, message, etc. gets in the media. It can be measured by a number of factors that measure the quantity and quality of media coverage, including type of media, extent (of coverage), share of voice, story size or length, placement, media circulation or audience share, media relevance (to the organization’s audience), story treatment, use of visuals, type of coverage, etc.
Promo - A broadcast announcement that promotes an upcoming program or activity on a radio or TV station. If an organization is involved in a project with the station – as a sponsor or a participant – a promo may be done mentioning the organization’s name and/or address and/or slogan.
Promotion - Using techniques such as events, promos, ads and stunts to create and stimulate interest in a person, product, organization or cause.
PR wire service - A commercial enterprise that provides news releases and other publicity materials at no charge to the mass and new media. Organizations pay the service to disseminate their materials.
Psychographics - describe audiences through personality traits, interests, lifestyles, attitudes, etc.
Public Affairs - Dealing and communicating with government and groups with regard to societal (public) policies, action and legislation. Unlike government relations, where the practitioner works strictly on
behalf of an organization, public affairs also is concerned with the effect of public policies, actions and legislation on its publics.
Publicity - General: Information about an organization, person, issue or cause published or broadcast in the news media because of its value or relevance/importance to the community or the media outlet’s audiences. Public Relations: Dissemination of purposefully planned and executed messages to selected media to further the interest of an organization or person without specific payment to media.
Publicity manual - A document that contains information on mass media outlets relevant to an organization. While it has all the information that is in a media list, it also contains data on deadlines, information on reporters, and notes based on the creator’s experiences with various media.
Publicity stunt - An interesting or unusual “event” created strictly as a publicity vehicle. It has sufficient human interest or unusualness to make photo and/or story material newsworthy or publication or broadcast.
Public opinion – The sum of accumulated individual opinions on an issue in public debate and affecting a group of people.
Public Relations Research - The term public relations research does not describe specific types of research methodology such as content analysis, public opinion polls or readership surveys. Instead, the term refers to any type of research that yields data for use in planning and evaluating public relations efforts. Four basic categories of public relations research activities are most common: environmental monitoring, public relations audits, communication audits and social audits. Public relations research can be formal or informal, primary or secondary, qualitative or quantitative, etc.
Publicity prop - Inexpensive but interesting and relevant items sent with “soft” publicity materials to attract media attention and, perhaps, serve as props for the visual media, particularly television.
Publicity photographs - Photographs taken for publicity purposes and submitted with cutlines to the print media. Photos may illustrate a news release, fact sheet or other publicity material.
Public service announcement (PSA) - A broadcast announcement, for which no charge is made, that promotes the programs, activities, or services of governments (nonpartisan), nonprofit organizations, or other groups serving community interests. Information for PSAs can be prepared in point form, as a script, or pre-recorded.
Publics inventory – a list of those publics – which may include segments from various stakeholder groups – who share a common interest, concern, or bond (demographics or psychographics). Some publics are always on the radar, while others form when they collectively need or want something from the organization or when the organization determines it needs something from them
Query letter - A one-page pitch to a periodical that sells the recipient on a story idea, the person and organization supplying that idea, and the relevance of the idea to the periodical’s readers.
Radio program or feature - Taped news and public affairs features provided by an organization at no charge to radio stations. Programs and features may be on such topics as consumer hints, author interviews, and new product information.
Reach- refers to the number of audience members who potentially receive a message. Most reach measures use circulation/audience share figures.
Reader tip sheets - Sheets that contain helpful tips on various subjects for media audiences. They are designed to be used “as is” by the media.
Receiver – The person who is the target (intended or unintended) of the source’s efforts during the communication process.
Reference group – A group that provides the standards and perspective regulating an individual’s behaviour within a given context, regardless of whether she/he is a member of the group or not.
Related articles - those that relate to the main story. It may be a sidebar with a human interest angle, another (perhaps opposite) point of view, an editorial, etc.
Relationship Management - This involves the role of public relations in identifying key publics and establishing strategies for building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with those publics.
Reputation or Image Management - The planning and implementing of policies, procedures and strategies that demonstrate an organization’s commitment to public and social responsibility, ethical behaviour, corporate identity and reputation with key publics.
Resource Management - PR’s management of human and financial resources revolves around setting objectives, planning, budgeting, recruiting and hiring PR staff and administering those resources.
Return on investment (ROI) – A measurement of the return an organization receives on its public relations expenditures. The ROI can affect the organization’s bottom line through sales. In some cases, those expenditures do not have a direct or immediate effect on that bottom line but they can contribute to fiscal success by creating good will, enhancing the image of the organization, creating interest in the product/service, etc. Some purists believe ROI should not be used in any PR measurement, pointing out that it is an accounting valuation method that means “percent return on a financial investment.” For this point of view: http://kdpaine.blogs.com/themeasurementstandard/
Risk Management - As preventive PR, this role involves helping an organization recognise areas of potential danger and recommending needed changes before potential dangers develop into crises.
Role – Behaviour expected from an individual because of his or her status.
Scope – the geographical area the media reach, including national, provincial, regional, and specifically defined and selected areas.
Semantics – The study of the meanings of speech forms, especially of the development and changes in meaning of words and word groups.
Secondary group – A goal-oriented group formed for a purpose. Members belong because of their interest in the group’s goal, because of the contribution they can make toward achieving it, or because of the contribution group membership can make towards achieving their own goals.
Secondary socialization – Learning and adaptation that continues throughout life, building on the primary socialization of childhood.
Selling propositions are based on the key feature/benefit that relates to the consumer’s self-interest. This can relate to consumer needs and wants, values, feelings, or lifestyles.
- USP – the unique selling point – the grand daddy of selling propositions – is based on what makes the product or service different from its competitors.
- ESP – the emotional selling proposition – stresses the feelings a product or service generates in its users.
- OSP – the organizational selling point – bases appeals on the reputation of the organization that makes the product or provides the service.
- MSP – the me-selling proposition – is driven by an approach that encourages consumers to assume ownership of the brand and advocate its use to others. Many such consumer devotees gather in brand communities made up of fans who spontaneously and voluntarily promote their favourite brand.
Share of voice – the organization’s share of media attention in the total coverage of a product, issue, industry, cause, etc. This information can contribute to competitive intelligence studies.
Sidebar (in Tv/radio) – A secondary story that explores an interesting or unusual angle related to the main story.
Simulcast – To broadcast over two facilities at once such as a newscast aired simultaneously on a TV and radio station (audio only) or on two different TV or radio stations.
Situation analysis– a document that contains all the pertinent information gathered during formative research on the situation, including information on relevant internal and external stakeholders and publics, environmental (social, economic, and political) considerations, and an analysis of key relationships. The document includes a SWOT analysis, a focus statement, and a benchmark to be used during the planning stage to help set overall goals. It may also include a baseline media measure – an analysis of how the media is currently covering the organization/situation, including the extent of coverage, type of coverage, treatment, and tone. The latter can be obtained through a tracking and reporting system set up to analyze media coverage of an issue.
Social marketing – activities involved in the creation and implementation of programs designed to promote acceptance of a social practice or idea. Notable examples include anti-smoking and don’t-drink-and-drive campaigns.
Socialization – The process through which we learn the dominant beliefs, values, and norms acceptable within our society. The learning process through which individuals develop their personalities and gain a sense of identity.
Social media release (SMR) - An enhanced news release, the SMR follows the sample principles of newsworthiness as the traditional news release, but it’s augmented by various bells and whistles such as audio, video, social bookmarking links, photos, and RSS feeds.
Social Sanctions – A positive social sanction is used to reward conformity to a norm while a negative one punishes deviation from it.
Social stratification – The process whereby people rank one another in a vertical arrangement – a hierarchy – that differentiates them as superior or inferior.
Socioeconomic status – A social ranking which combines various dimensions of stratification, particularly prestige and wealth. It takes into account a number of factors that determine a person’s social status: income, type of occupation, level of education attained and place of residence, among others.
Soundbite – A succinct and often catchy message that illustrates or encapsulates a story in just a few seconds.
Source – A person, document, or record that provides information – usually for attribution – that a reporter can use in a story. In some cases, if the news is sufficiently important or interesting, the reporter may agree not to name the source ; The person who originates and transmits a message to others during the communication process.
Special Event Management - The use of a project, program, action or happening, generally involving public participation, to meet overall organizational goals. Special events often are designed to obtain publicity or other exposure.
Standup – An on-camera report done by a field reporter. It may be taped or aired live.
Status – Socially defined positions in a social institution. One’s status determines how an individual should relate to other people and with whom the individual will interact. Each status usually carries a set of role expectations.
- Ascribed status – A social status based on the position into which an individual is born, or characteristics over which he or she exerts no control (age, gender, ethnicity, etc).
- Achieved status – A social status based on characteristics over which the individual exerts some control, such as educational attainment, marital status, or type of employment
Stereotypes – Fixed, unchanging mental images that embrace all that is believed to be typical of members of a given group. When we make use of stereotypes, we categorize people or things without regard for their individual characteristics.
Story treatment – how a story is treated in the media. It could be a cover story,a running story earning coverage day after day, a one-shot mention, or a story earning multiple mentions in one issue, one broadcast or one Twitter day.
Strategic Management - Acting as a counselor, the PR practitioner serves on the management team helping the organization develop sound policies that are in the best interests of the public as well as the organization. The PR practitioner integrates an understanding of the concerns and attitudes of key publics into the organization’s managerial decision-making process.
Summative research- is done when the campaign or project is completed. This evaluation determines not only whether or not the campaign/project was successful but also why or why not. It provides information needed to plan for the future. Summative research uses relevant evaluation mechanisms – media monitoring/analysis, surveys, panel studies, interviews, etc. – to measure process and outcome objectives.
SWOT analysis– an identification of the major and most relevant organizational and/or project strengths and weaknesses (internal) as well as the major and key environmental opportunities and threats (external) facing the organization and its stakeholders/publics.
Syndicated issues tracking - a service provided to individual subscribers who all receive the same information on media coverage of an situation or issue.
Talkback – A brief sequence at the end of a live field report where the anchor chats with the reporter about the story.
Target audience - is a term that refers specifically to any groups targeted to be the recipients of a message. Target audiences may comprise entire individual stakeholder groups or publics who belong to several different stakeholder groups.
Theory of cognitive dissonance – A person’s tendency to avoid information that is dissonant or opposed to her or his own point of view. Tending to seek out information that is consonant or in support of one’s own attitudes.
Threshold of consciousness – This must be reached before an idea becomes a factor in the attitude of an individual or group. The process through which a concept passes from complete obscurity through the various stages of awareness in one’s mind.
Tone (or sentiment) - measures how a person, group, organization, or issue is portrayed in the media. Tone is normally categorized as positive, neutral or negative, with various degrees of negative and positive tones. (Toning can be enhanced when a human analyst – able to recognize sarcasm, irony, and various human quirks – serves as a filter.)
TV memo - A written pitch to a television news director, assignment editor, or producer. It includes a summary of the news content (including the five Ws), a list of photo opportunities, and a list of possible interview subjects. A TV memo may be accompanied by a fact sheet, backgrounder, bio, or other supplementary publicity material.
Two-step flow process - refers to the process whereby messages get to receivers through a second source, including opinion leaders, key influencers, etc.
Type of coverage – the context in which an item is presented in the media (news, opinion/commentary, community service, etc.). It can be further identified as an editorial, news story, blog post, news brief, bumper, letter to the editor, comment to a blog post, etc.
Types of news refers to the kind of information – facts and opinions – that goes into a news story. This information may be hard, soft, or a combination of both.
- Hard news – timely news about relatively serious events and/or situations that are important – whether they know it or not – to a considerable share of the media audience.
- Soft news – not necessarily important or timely, soft news often is based on the news values of human interest, prominence, interest, and unusualness.
- Spot news – also called breaking news, this is information about a current event or situation that is published or aired as soon as possible after it occurs or is available. The news may be hard or soft.
Types of news stories encompasses the kinds of stories found in media.
- Breaking story – a story that involves currently happening or impending news (spot news). Details may initially be scarce but are released as soon as they are available.
- One-shot story – a story that is published/aired one time only.
- Running story – a story that is published/aired for two days or longer.
- Update story – a story that provides at least some new information on a story previously in the news.
- Round-up story – a summary of a news story that may or may not include any new information. It often relies on several different sources for a wider perspective.
- Feature story – also called a feature, this type of story is more descriptive – and often longer – than regular news stories. Features are not usually tied to timeliness.
- Brief – a concise news item, often grouped with other equally brief items that focus mainly on the bare facts (who, what, when, and where) of a story.
- Copy story – a brief story or news item read by a TV anchor without any accompanying videotape.
- Cover story – in a magazine, the main story featured on the cover. In magazine-style TV programs, it often is the major story.
- Kicker – a brief story, usually light, that can be used to end a newscast or segment of a newscast.
- Reader – a story read by the radio newscaster without any other audio material.
- Voicer – an on-the-spot report by a radio reporter or a TV reporter who does not appear on camera. A voicer also may be done by a source reporting on a breaking story.
- Wraparound – in radio, this is the live lead-in and close-out to a taped segment or actuality. In TV news, the reporter on the scene introduces a previously taped report then provides additional information and/or an update.
- Lead story – the first story in a newscast.
Unique visits - adds up the number of individual people who visited a site within a specified period of time used for reporting purposes.
- New visitors – the number of unique visitors who access any page on a site – via a web browser – for the first time.
- Repeat visitors – the number of unique visitors who make two or more visits to a site.
- Return visitors – the number of unique visitors who return to a site after the initial visit.
- Visit duration – the length of time visitors spend on a page or a site.
- Conversation reach – the number of unique visitors who took part in a conversation. Tone/sentiment analysis is not included.
- Bounce rates – statistics on those visitors who remain on a site for five seconds or less or those who visit only one page of a site.
Use of visuals – information on the content and placement of such visuals as photographs.
Values – Socially shared conceptions of what a group or society considers good, right, and desirable. The criteria or conceptions used in evaluating things (including objects, ideas, actions, feelings, and events) as to their relative desirability, merit or correctness.
Video news release (VNR) - A videotaped news story produced by an organization and distributed to television newsrooms. VNRs are particularly useful at times of crisis or when an organization has an angle based on unusualness or human interest. VNRs may be accompanied by B-roll footage
Vision statement – a succinct, realistic, credible, easy-to-understand, relevant, and ambitious description of the niche the organization wants to occupy in the future.
Web media centre - A special page or pages on the organization’s website that is designed specifically for the news media. The media centre contains pages devoted to breaking news, news release archives, supplementary materials such as backgrounders and fact sheets, an organizational calendar of upcoming events, addresses and phone numbers, and a site map for the centre. There also should be links to other pages on the site.
Word of mouth - involves the passing on of information in an informal person-to-person manner via such channels as face-to-face communication, social networking, telephone, IM, and email conversations. Most recent studies have found that the most trusted sources of information about products/services are other consumers. On a personal level, the most credible sources of information are friends and family members.
Wow, I am impressed! You made it through the whole thing. Does your brain hurt? Here is something to make you better: