Margaret McGann

Communications and PR: how well do you know your acronyms?

In communications and marketing, evaluation, media relations, planning, public relations, research, social media, strategy on September 6, 2010 at 11:56 am

At a dinner party recently we got to talking about how each industry has its own acronyms and jargon which can make it difficult for newbies and outsiders to understand what you’re talking about.

I have a vivid memory of my first day working on a big-budget film set saying I couldn’t wait for the “honey wagon” to arrive only to find out that the term didn’t refer to the coffee and donut wagon but instead to portable toilets.

The communications and public relations industry has its own acronyms which can be confusing and confounding but none that I know of that can be as embarrassingly misconstrued.

As a communicator, how well do you know your industry’s acronyms and how well can you explain them to a potential client or PR intern?

How many of the acronyms below can you get right without peeking at the answers?

  1. SOSTAC
  2. UM
  3. CSR
  4. ROPE
  5. PSA
  6. SMR
  7. ROI
  8. PEST
  9. WIIFM
  10. SWOT
  11. RAISE
  12. EM
  13. SMART
  14. SM
  15. RACE

Answers:

  1. situation analysis, objectives, strategy, tactics, action, control
  2. unearned media coverage garnered by paid advertising
  3. corporate social/environmental responsibility
  4. research, objective, programming, evaluation
  5. public service announcement
  6. social media release
  7. return on investment
  8. areas to look at when doing situational analysis – political, economic/environmental, social, technological
  9. what’s in it for me?
  10. strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
  11. research, adaptation, implementation, strategy, evaluation
  12. earned media coverage gained by media relations efforts
  13. specific, measurable, agreed, realistic/relevant, time-bound
  14. social media i.e., FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc.
  15. research, analysis, communicate, evaluation

Do you have any favourites you would like to add?

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