Below is a brief list of terms used in the public relations profession. It is meant to be a quick and easy glossary for those not familiar with public relations as a profession.
While many of these may not merit a full article, those familiar with the terms should feel free to try to expand each of these definitions into full prWikia articles, when possible.
- Astroturfing - The practice of a company, industry, or interest group creating "front groups" and organizations to make it appear to relevant publics or decision-makers as if they are truly spontaneous, grassroots groups supporting the company's, industry's or interest group's positions. It is a frowned-upon and negative practice in the PR industry.
- Blog - A "Web log" (often shortened to "blog") is an online journal. First appearing in the late 1990s, most were originally almost entirely as online diaries, but today, many businesses employ blogs as a way to speak directly to customers and would-be customers and gain instant feedback from them about products and services.
- Case studies - A brief written analysis of a situation confronting a public relations professional, followed by a description of the tactics and strategies or other corrective actions employed by the professional to solve problems and issues arising from the situation, with a final description of the result(s) of the professional's actions.
- Crisis management - The communications management function used to convey accurate facts and data to the general public and to specific publics during a crisis situation.
- Community relations - The communications function used to convey facts and data about a client to the public or specific publics and to educate and inform them about the client's work in the commuity and on its behalf. Usually performed on behalf of non-profits, hospitals and other businesses. In the military, it is often termed "public affairs."
- Event management - The management, preparation and organization of events at which clients are usually showcased.
- Fact sheet - A list of facts prepared for the media that is meant to give a brief overview of a company, individual, event or ongoing situation. Most often used by businesses as part of a media kit.
- Image - How a client is perceived by its publics.
- Image consultant - A professional who maintains and improves a client's image, often using public relations tactics and part of an overall campaign.
- Investor relations - The communications function used to convey facts and data to investors.
- Media kit (also known as a Press kit) - A pre-packaged set of promotional materials of a person or persons represented for promotional use.
- Media relations - Maintaining good and open communications between members of various media outlets and a client, or between the public relations professional and the media as a means to effectively communicate client messages.
- News release - A public relations tool that is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value.
- Publicity - A message containing information that concerns a person, group, event, or product that is disseminated through various media to attract public notice. While publicity can be a useful public relations tool, it is often used on its own, outside of public relations, to simply attract attention of the media and the general public. (see also: Publicity stunt).
- Publics - A public is a group of interested parties who is in some way connected to or interacts with a client on some level. Internal publics are those who are directly employed by the client. External publics are those who do business with the client, such as vendors or customers. Public relations professionals identify these various publics in order to help clients effectively communicate with them. Should not be confused with the term "general public," which is rarely used in public relations, since it is too broad of a category.
- SMPR - Stands for social media press release, which is a release optimized to be spread virally and meet the needs of social media.
- Spin - Most often understood as a derogatory term for the act of highlighting the positive aspects of a bad situation, statement or action, usually to the news media, who are often skeptical of the attempt to "spin" the details.