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5 PR Jargon Words You Absolutely Need to Know

No matter how you cut the deck, it is can be challenging to get publicity for your startup -- especially if you are using the DIY strategy. But you can increase your chances by knowing a few common terms that are used in the media world. By learning the PR lingo, you can pitch outlets more effectively, and it makes editors' jobs so much more easy. And this will make them want to come back to you over and over again.

If you need a little help, here are five PR words you absolutely need to have in your vocabulary. 


Where you’ll see it: “This is an interesting idea, but I don’t handle FOB. I’ve cc’d Jane here, who does.”

What it means: FOB means “front of book”: the smaller stories and columns that run in the first third of a magazine. Usually they’re smaller pieces (think 1 paragraph + a picture) and fill regular slots. BOB is similar, but means “back of book” and is often for shopping information and recipes.

Related: 7 Steps to Get Publicity for Your Business

2. EIC

Where you’ll see it: “I loved this story idea for March, but the EIC suggested we reconsider it for a summer issue.”

What it means: Editor-in-Chief, aka, the buck stops here. Once the EIC decrees something, it’s probably set in stone; on the flip side, if the EIC loves something, there’s a very good chance your story will see its way to the light of day.

3. Hed/Dek

Where you’ll see it: “For the Hed, let’s do something more creative, like ‘Pied Piper’ and the dek can be ‘How two teenagers sold a million dollars worth of pie.’”

What it means: The headline (hed) and description or teaser (dek) that comes immediately afterwards. Use it to your advantage and pitch

Related: How to Generate Publicity on a Shoe-String Budget

4. TK

Where you’ll see it: “Marie, TK, has already sold TK units this year.”

What it means: TK is editor speak for “I don’t know this, but it’s coming later.” Usually, they’ll be asking you to clarify some information and “fill-in the TKs.” In this example, you’d write: Marie, 37, has already sold 2 million units this year.

5. Reel

Where you’ll see it: “I like this idea, but can I see your reel?” Um...what?

What it means: A short film montage of your live TV and video clips. A TV show producer often wants to see how you handle yourself (look, voice, responses, etc) on TV before booking an appearance. How to respond: send over your reel if you have, and links to previous TV appearances if you don’t. And then make an official reel for the future!

Related: 6 PR Tips for Generating Publicity for Your Startup