PR Lingo You Should Know


27th August 2020


Leigh-Ann Hewer

Reading time

3 minutes

Close up of dictionary

Before starting my internship with Carnsight back in 2019, I knew very little about PR. Something that became immediately obvious to me during my first couple of weeks is that there is a lot of PR specific language that its helpful to know when starting in the industry. Having felt a little lost among it all when I started my internship, I thought I would share some of the important PR phrases and terms you should know early on. 


PR stands for Public Relations. Let’s not neglect the seemingly obvious. Hopefully, if you’re looking to go into PR you’ll already know what the letters stand for, but it’s a mistake to assume that everyone will understand what you’re talking about when you tell them you’re working in PR.     


USP stands for Unique Selling Point. This is an aspect of a business that distinguishes itself from the others of a similar nature. For example, maybe the product you sell is organic, or the style of service you offer can’t be found anywhere else.    


This one confused me at first but an embargo is a request or requirement by the source of some information or news, that the information not be published until a certain date or until certain conditions have been met.   

Comment Piece vs Opinion Piece  

This is one I only recently cleared up for myself. Essentially a comment piece and an opinion piece are the same things, but different publications and journalists will refer to them differently. When pitching a piece of this nature, check which phrase is used by the publisher your pitching to, and use that.   


KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. These indicate the progress made towards a result. KPI’s help businesses to focus on and measure what’s important.   


A boilerplate is essentially an “about us” statement. It’s a short paragraph that goes at the end of a press release to give the journalist or publication some background and context of your business.   


Small and Medium Enterprise. So small and medium businesses. This is usually determined by one of three factors; the staff headcount, the company turnover, or balance sheet total. In the UK that’s usually a business with fewer than 250 employees.   

Paid Media, Owned Media and Earned Media 

Paid media is when a company pays a third-party, such as sponsorships and advertising on third-party sites. Owned media is content a company creates and publishes on its own channels such as websites and blogs. Earned media is all of the media content and discussion around a company’s brand or product that someone else created and shared or published on a channel the company does not own.    


Content syndication is when another site republishes content that originally appeared somewhere else, such as your company’s blog. 

To learn more about my internship experience and starting a career in PR make sure to check out my reflection post here. You can also find out a bit more about me and what I do as Carnsight Account Executive here.