PR Glossary

The PR glossary is a collection of public relations terms, definitions and activities designed for anyone seeking an understanding – basic or advanced – of what goes into planning and implementing effective corporate communications.


Media monitoring and analysis

The terms in this section are those commonly used by most firms that provide media monitoring and analysis services. They cover both traditional mass media as well as some social and online media.

Communications: PR and marketing

An up-close-and-professional look at various areas of PR and Marketing, including strategic management, research, branding, and word-of-mouth communications.

Publicity, news and news terms

This section provides terms and definitions every publicist should know and use when dealing with media. An ideal companion to the Publicity Tips section.

PR tools and tactics

These terms and definitions explain both the well-known and little-known tools and techniques that can generate extensive media coverage. Included is information on supplementary publicity materials as well as suggestions for products and services to make the publicist’s job easier.

Event publicity tips

Some practical, creative, and inexpensive tips for attracting media attention to your special event.

Strengths and limitations of various media

The following is a breakdown of the strengths and limitations of various media types.

Gatekeepers & news gatherers at a major newspaper

The following provides terms and definitions of gatekeepers and news gatherers at major newspapers.

Persuasion and public opinion – communications

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.

Persuasion and public opinion – attitude formation

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.

Public Relations management roles

Public relations can and should make an important contribution in helping to form an organization’s ideas about what it is, what it should do and what its publics want and expect from it.

Public Relations specialized functions

Public relations functions are categorized by the public with which relationships are established and to whom appeals are made to understand and/or accept certain policies, procedures, individuals, causes, products or services. Practitioners who perform specialized functions may play a management role, operate as a communications technician, or function in a dual role.

Public Relations activities

The various stages of the public relations process involve combinations of a variety of activities.