The public relations industry is dynamic and fast-paced. Like Heidi Klum would say, "One day you're in, and the next day you're out." And no, you're not living inside an episode of Project Runway, but to stay on top of your game you need to know the latest jargon. 

If this sounds a bit intimidating, don't sweat it — media update's Taylor Goodman unpacks eight PR buzzwords here.

What are you waiting for? Let's get learning!

1. Boilerplate

We know what you're thinking, 'What is a boilerplate and do you know a mechanic so that I can get mine checked?'

Well, contrary to popular belief, a boilerplate has nothing to do with a car. Instead, this is a short and to-the-point description of what a company is and what it does, similar to an 'about us' section. 

The boilerplate is often found at the end of a press release and aims to give the recipient (usually a journalist) the 411 on the business they're in contact with. This will help your brand be easily recognisable, which can be useful in getting journalists to recognise your content faster when you send it through, according to g2

2. Byline 

If you're an avid media update reader (and we hope you are!), you may have recognised the lead-in sentences in our content that details who wrote the piece and what they plan to discuss. This is a byline. 

Simply put, a byline falls "at the beginning of the content or at the end, as a signature to give credit to the person who has written the article," says

If you or your client's brand have many bylines to your name, you will be able to build a solid reputation as a thought leader in the industry. Moreover, as your content gets recognised as credible and high quality, the media will take notice. 

3. Embargo 

Want to be let in on some exclusive, insider information? This is essentially what an embargo is. 

If you want to get technical, an embargo is soon-to-be published content that is shared by a PR professional to the media — but it is only to be distributed at a specific time / date or if certain conditions have been met. 

An example of a press embargo is if your client is launching a new product and you want to pique the media's interest. 

4. Electronic press kit (EPK)

If you work in PR, you're definitely familiar with a press kit. However, living in the digital age, everything's got to be electronic. 

An EPK is "a digital set of promotional materials" that can consist of:
  • a brand bio or product description
  • contact information
  • relevant press releases
  • fact sheets
  • press clippings, and
  • digital artwork such as images and videos.
These electronic press kits are used for the promotion of just about anything, but it is specifically utilised by those in the entertainment industry. 

5. Flywheel

Oh no, here we go again referencing car parts …. Well, despite the automobile undertones, a flywheel is actually what happens when PR and SEO meet. 

Similar to the marketing model adapted by Hubspot, a flywheel in PR is a "growth model" that aims to strengthen a brand by providing its audience with a memorable customer experience. 

As the effort is notable and press-worthy, the brand in question will gain attention and exposure from it. This is where SEO comes in. As the brand garners press coverage, it is key that it links back to the brand's website to assert the company as an authoritative source of information. 

The more people that click on these backlinks and share the press content, the more traffic the organisation will receive. This enables the brand to grow as a thought leader in its industry. 

6. Purpose washing

If there's one thing the modern consumer hates, it's inauthenticity in corporate activism — and purpose washing is a fitting example of this. 

As the name suggests, purpose washing is "presenting your brand as if it operates according to a larger purpose, when in reality it only operates to serve itself," according to

Participating in purpose-led campaigns just for the good PR that comes along with it is something your audience will see straight through, so avoid this at all costs. Instead, ensure that your clients are involved in efforts that reflect their actual values to ensure credibility. 

7. Raw video 

As consumers continue to desire authenticity from brands, it comes as no surprise that 'raw' video will continue to grow in popularity throughout 2022. 

What is raw video, you ask? Well, the definition is quite broad — it could range from user-generated content to ephemeral to short-form video. 

Just think of TikTok and its success in redefining social media — or even Snapchat — and how it pioneered ephemeral content. What you can learn from this as a PR pro is that video is still a popular medium, but users just expect branded content to have a more genuine feel.  

8. Viral

In a post-pandemic age, we all probably get a little scared when we hear the word 'viral', but in this context, it's a good thing. 

When content goes viral, this means that it is being shared or spreading rapidly online. This could pertain to a campaign, a meme, or a video — the opportunities are endless. For example, if your client has a campaign that goes viral, their exposure will shoot through the roof. 

So how do I achieve this? Well, there's no cut-and-paste method to achieving virality, but sharing high-quality content that includes current trends that are in tune with your audience is a good place to start. 

What unknown PR term do you think everyone should know? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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What to know more about the dynamic world of PR? Then be sure to read, What is PR and is it the right career for you? [Infographic].
*Image courtesy of Unsplash