Written by Emma Vetriano • Published 6th February 2012 • 2 minute read

People who work in Digital PR have a bad habit of talking in jargon and using confusing abbreviations on a regular basis. It can make the whole industry seem far too complex and difficult to understand and for me, that’s really unhelpful. I always try to talk to clients and colleagues in real terms and to avoid unhelpful language, but for those of you who have encountered a digital bod that isn’t so keen on clarity, here’s a quick-fire guide to Digital PR speak:


PPC stands for Pay Per Click, which is usually used to refer to a type of online advertising. Traditionally an advertiser would buy an advertising space (in a magazine or newspaper for example) and they would pay a flat fee. With online advertising however it is possible to see how many people have actually engaged with your advert because you can see how many people have clicked on it to be taken to your website. Pay per click allows advertisers to pay a small fee every time a consumer clicks on their advert rather than paying a flat fee for the space. For example, an advertiser might place an advert on a website at a rate of 3p per click. They will state how much they have to spend, and once that money has been spent the advert will be removed from the site.


SEO means Search Engine Optimisation which simply refers to the process of creating or re-arranging a website or social media account in order to ensure that search engines are able to find it, process it and make it appear when people are searching for information that is included on it. Clients can state which words or phrases they think are relevant to their business and SEO specialists can make sure that Google and other search engines show your website when people search them.


UGC refers to User Generated Content, an increasingly important area of online communication. YouTube videos, tweets about your brand or blogs reviewing your content all fall into this category. Most brands love user-generated content. Not only is it free advertising but it’s also a sign of brand loyalty and strong engagement with your messaging.


OK, OK, I know most of you will know what this means, but I was asked about this one recently so I thought I would include it. RT means to retweet something, which is the process of repeating someone’s tweet to your own followers because you think it is interesting or worth reading.


CMS stands for Content Management System – the behind the scenes part of any website where the webmaster can post up new content, edit old content and alter the look and feel of the website. Different companies use different systems and they will all have a different look and feel. In general, you need some experience and training to use a CMS as they can be quite confusing.


HTML is a type of code that is used to post content online. The code tells websites how you want your text to look, for example, whether you want to underline text, make it bold, change the font or size or insert an image.


Cover image courtesy of: tenz1225, flickr.com