Glossary of terms

@ – This sign is used to tag people on social media. By tagging someone, they’ll be notified of your posts, encouraging them to interact with it. This can promote engagement on your social media.

Above the line – A lesser-used term now, ‘above the line’ typically involves widespread promotional activity that isn’t particularly targeted, for example, national TV or broadcast campaigns.

Advertorial – Advertorial refers to a piece of paid-for written content placed in a magazine or other media outlet. Unlike editorial, advertorial is paid for, as it typically features the company name, services and branding, and is similar to an advert.

B2B – Business to Business, you sell to other businesses. 

B2C – Business to Consumer, you sell directly to the end customer. 

Backlinks – Links from external websites to your website. These are highly valued by Google – the more authoritative the links are (ie from credible organisations), the more SEO ‘points’ you’ll get. 

Below the line – Another lesser-used term, ‘below the line’ involves direct and highly-targeted promotional activity, which is directed towards a clearly defined target audience persona.

Blog page – A blog page provides information on your website. By keeping your website updated with relevant information, you can increase backlinks and create trust between your business and your customers.

Bought media – This is any type of media that you pay for. It’s also sometimes called ‘paid for’ and could include advertorial, adverts, pay-per-click (PPC) or even a poster in a local shop.

Business plan – This is a formal document that collates your business goals, how you plan to achieve these goals, and a timeframe for each goal.

Byline – This is the name, role and business included when crediting the author of an article. It’s usually included at the top and bottom of the piece. In PR, you may write editorial copy for your clients with the intention of including their name in the byline to build credibility. 

Call to action – A marketing tool that’s intended to prompt some sort of action from a customer or prospect once they’ve read a piece of content, watched a company video or visited a web page, for example. The action itself depends on your business’ communications objectives. It can be anything from ‘get in touch’ to ‘download our brochure’.

Celebrity endorsement – This is a marketing strategy where celebrities will use their fame to help to promote a product, brand or service. See influencers.

Code of conduct – Your business’ code of conduct is a set of principles that you commit to follow and require your employees to follow. These are also known as your values.

Communications – How your business interacts with others. This includes talking and listening to your customers and prospects, using both written and spoken mediums. 

Communications strategy – Your communication strategy is a long-term plan on how you’ll be communicating to existing or potential customers to meet your business goals. These goals can be big or small, but your communications strategy should aim to achieve these goals.

Competitive advantage – Your competitive advantage is what you have that means your organisation can outperform your competitors.

Compliance management – A process that ensures people are following a defined set of rules. The rules are referred to as the compliance standard or compliance benchmark, and the process manages compliance with these.

Content marketing – This focuses on creating and publishing valuable and consistent content to attract your target audience.

Copy – Refers to any published text or article. This could be a blog on your website, a feature in a magazine or a post on your social media channels, for example. 

Copywriting – Writing of copy (see above). This copy can take any written form. For example, it could be a media release, an emailer or a business brochure.

Crisis communications – This is a type of PR that is designed to protect an organisation when it is facing a public challenge to its reputation. It involves strategic communication with the public, or other key stakeholders, to ensure reputational damage is controlled or prevented. 

CRM (customer relationship management) system – This is a system that helps to manage the interactions, data and information you’ve collected from customers or prospects. It can help you to see where a prospect is in your sales process, what the next action is and when it is due by. 

Customer value proposition – This is a marketing statement, which states the promised value of a product or service to customers should they use it, to encourage purchase and engagement.

Demographic – This is a specific group within the population. People can be grouped by gender, age, occupation or education, for example. Depending on your target audience, you’ll want to target different demographics.

DNA – This is what makes your business unique. Your DNA is the foundation of your business, and it should drive your brand message and all your PR and marketing activity. See Vision, Mission and Values.

Domain authority – This is a search engine-ranked authority score that has been developed by Moz. This is arguably the most important part of your Moz rating, as it tells you the overall authority of your website.

Earned media – Retweets, social sharing, reviews, testimonials – the comments you receive for your work or the editorial you’ve secured.

Editorial – A piece of written content sold into the press that hasn’t been paid for. It’s unpaid because, while the business (or product) is mentioned, it isn’t featured heavily – otherwise that would be an advertorial. The focus for editorial is on helpful and engaging content.

Engagement – The total number of interactions with a piece of content or communication.

Email marketing (emailer) – This involves sending a commercial email message to a group of people. This will include content about your business to encourage individuals to engage with you.

Employee engagement – This is how satisfied your employees are with their jobs and your business, you can lift your employee engagement by improving your internal communication.

Facebook – Facebook is a social media platform that’s great to spread the reach of your business. You can share links, posts, images and videos to your business page that will appear on an individual’s newsfeed if they choose to like or follow your page. You can also sponsor or boost posts to reach a wider audience.

Feature – A feature is a form of editorial. It’s a big piece that covers a main story, usually requiring different opinions, research or covering an event.

Goals – In business, these are what you want to achieve. These can be short-term or long-term, but it’s important to have goals to measure your growth as a business. See SMART objectives.

Google Analytics – A data analytics platform that allows you to monitor and analyse your website traffic. This is often used to create measurable objectives in PR campaigns, allowing you to see how your activities influence engagement, quantity or quality of traffic, conversions and more. 

Hashtags – These are used on social media by placing a # in front of a word. By putting a hashtag into your post, it will be tagged along with other posts that use the same hashtags, increasing the chances of them being recognised. They’re especially useful for important events or days throughout the year.

Hyper personalisation – This is creating custom and targeted experiences for your customers using data. This will make sure your content gets in front of the right audience, to create the best results.

Hypertargeting – This is a strategy similar to hyper personalisation. With hypertargeting, you will identify your customer and deliver extremely relevant messages to these specific individuals.

Incoming links – Also referred to as ‘inbound links’, these are links to your site from another site. 

Influencers – Who is prevalent in your industry? Who are people listening to or following? That is an influencer, as they have influence over your customers or your industry. Influencers don’t need to have millions of followers, ‘micro influencers’ (with followers between 1,000 and 50,000) are becoming increasingly popular and successful in consumer marketing strategies.

Instagram – This is a social media platform that focuses on images and videos. On your profile you can share permanent posts or stories that last for 24 hours. Instagram is especially popular with younger generations. An Instagram presence is vital if this is your target market.

Internal communications – This is how you engage and converse with your team across your business. It’s underpinned by your business’ culture, and it ultimately determines the engagement and motivation of your whole team. 

Joined up – Your marketing should be integrated across your owned, earned and paid media. This is known as ‘joined up’ marketing. Consistency in your communications is key to getting your messages across effectively.

Keywords – Your keywords are the most important search terms that your audience are using that you want to be found for. By using these words or terms organically throughout your content, you can optimise your website or content to appear higher in search rankings, increasing its likelihood of being found. 

Landing page – This is a web page that’s created for a specific marketing campaign. This gives people a warm point of entry and a route around your website through relevant call to actions.

Lead generation – This is the process of identifying and engaging with prospects who have a qualified interest in your offering, encouraging them to reach out for more information or a conversation.

LinkedIn – This is a social media platform for online networking and business communities. Posting on LinkedIn is important if your target audience is business owners or professionals. LinkedIn is a good way to increase your post reach, as when people engage with your posts, they’ll be visible to their connections too.

Marketing communications – This is how you’ll present your marketing strategy to your customers. Your marketing communications can be projected through advertising, social media or your website, for example.

Marketing strategy – This will include a plan for a business to increase their sales and succeed over their competitors. This will include your business’ target market, your objectives, and how you plan to achieve these.

Measurable objectives – These are a set of objectives that you can use to determine how successful your different strategies are. For marketing and PR, these could include, the amount of people visiting your website, the total number of purchases or social media followers, for example.

Media monitoring – This is the process of keeping an eye on media outlets and the kind of content they are publishing. This includes keeping up to date with upcoming features that you could secure editorial coverage within. 

Media relations – This involves building relationships with key journalists and publications in order to secure editorial coverage and other exposure for clients.

Messages – Your messages come out of your DNA, they are what you want people to think, feel and believe about your business. Your messages tell prospective customers about your business.

Mission – This is part of your DNA. Your mission is what sets you apart from your competitors, and why customers should come to you vs another. It should be sustainable.

Moz rating – Moz is an authority ranking tool that evaluates websites and publications based on their authority, popularity and reach. Each URL is ranked out of 100 for its authority, determining how likely it is to appear highly in search engine results. 

News monitoring – This is the process of monitoring the papers, magazines and online new outlets for key headlines and topics you can react to or ‘newsjack’.

Offline promotion – Any advertising or promotion not on the internet, this could be anything from a piece of editorial in a glossy to a flyer in a shop window.

Offline SEO – Activities to increase traffic to your site that is done away from your site, eg through securing backlinks in editorial coverage.

Online SEO – Technical and non-technical improvements to your site, carried out on the site, eg creating quality, keyword-rich content or making changes to the page set up, so your website performs better.

Owned media – Anything you own and manage outright – eg your website, social media pages, your shop window, etc. 

Paid media – This is the content you pay to place in front of your audience (see also bought media).

Page ranking – This is how highly your website or webpage ranks in Google. Each search result has a corresponding page position, eg position 10 is at the bottom of page one, position 11 is at the top of page two, and so on. 

Persona – A detailed profile of your ideal customer – answering the ‘who, what, where, when, why and how’ questions. Who are they? What are their goals? Where are they based? When’s the right time? Why are they struggling? How can you help? How can you reach them?

PPC – Pay-per-click is a form of advertising on Google where advertisers pay a fee every time their ad is clicked. They come up at the top of each Google search. 

Purpose (of an organisation) – This is the reason that you’re in business. Why do you do what you do? Why did you start your business? What’s the core motivation behind all that you do?

Press release – This is a short piece of content focused on current news, a product launch or event occurring that is published to local, regional, national or trade media, depending on its purpose. For businesses, press releases can be a good way to encourage interest and engagement surrounding your brand. 

Prospects – Potential customers who may be interested in your brand and what you have to offer. 

PR strategy – This helps your business to organise how you communicate with your target audience to get across your businesses desired messages. This long-term plan will help you to achieve specific business goals through improving your business’ communications.

Reactive PR ‘newsjacking’ – Finding a great angle for a media article by responding to a current piece of news that relates to your business, industry or product/service.

ROI (return on investment) – This is the ratio of return a campaign has compared to the investment put in to make it happen. ROI can account for financial, time or resource investment. 

Roundtable – This is an event that promotes discussion among different participants. You can use roundtables to demonstrate your business’ values and promote discussion about topics that are important to you and your customers.

SEO (search engine optimisation) – Measures you take to improve the quality of your website and increase traffic to your site. This can be broken down into Offline SEO and Online SEO.

Social media – This includes platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You can use these platforms to share information about your brand and interact with your consumers.

SMART objectives – This is an anacronym for: specific, measurable, attainable/achievable, relevant/realistic, time-based objectives. This anacronym will help you to set, track and accomplish your business’ objectives.

Sponsorship – This is when your business funds an event or organisation for your mutual benefit. This can help you to gain a competitive advantage, raise brand awareness and communicate your values with potential customers.

Target audience – Your target audience is who you want to reach and engage with. They’re your ideal customer or a key introducer/influencer for your business.

Touch-point – Everywhere your customers come into contact with your brand. This can be on your website or social media, through reading an article about your brand in a local magazine or seeing an advert in your shop window, for example. 

Trade publication – Unlike newspapers or general magazines, trade publications focus on specific industries and often include news, advertising, editorial contributions and case studies. These can be a great tool to build your brand’s reputation within your industry or the industries you’d like to target. 

Twitter – This is a social media platform where you can share tweets with your followers. Twitter is focused on short snippets of text, but you can also include images and videos to make your posts stand out.

Unique selling proposition – This is a marketing strategy that tells your customers how your brand or product is superior to your competitors. Your ‘DNA’ should inform this strategy, to help you to stand out from your competitors.

UTM link – This is a type of link which can be used to track the performance of a digital marketing campaign. You can use these links to measure which links your customers are engaging with.

Values – This is part of your DNA. Your values are your business’ code of conduct. They set out your culture, driving all that you say and do as a brand.

Vision – This part of your DNA – why you’re in business. Making money is the result, your vision is the deeper motivation behind all that you do. What’s the core purpose of your brand? What difference are you looking to make?

VMV – Your vision, mission and values – your DNA. This is what makes you stand out from your competition, and it underpins how you communicate as a brand. 

Website – Your website is the centre of gravity for all of your communications. This is your ‘hub’ for potential customers to find out about your business, so it should align with all of your messages.

White paper – This is a report or guide that will provide readers with information on a complex issue. White papers are a great way to let your customers know that you’re the expert in your field.