Vector, lead, PPC: Every industry, including marketing, uses specific jargon or language. While the number of acronyms used in the agency setting can be overwhelming, to help our clients, community and even family members understand what we are talking about, here are the top 20 jargon terms used at GRIT explained.

In Digital Marketing

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. CRM systems help businesses manage and maintain long-term relationships, track marketing efforts and deliver data. Because the tool is data-driven, it provides solutions to improve customer interactions.

CTA (Call-to-Action)

CTA stands for call-to-action. CTAs are commonly used to prompt an immediate response from the target audience. A CTA asks the audience to do something, such as buy a product, like a social media post or contact a business for more information. You’ve probably seen these at the end of a blog post or as part of an Instagram Story.


A lead is a person showing initial interest in a product, service or story. Leads are followed up on and often result in new business or media coverage. A lead can also be used in public relations, as in the opening line to a published article.


When used in a marketing context, organic refers to the unpaid and natural presence of a brand online via a website, blog, search engines and social media. Marketers use content, keywords and a forward-facing strategy to help audiences find and read their branded content online. Organic does not include paid advertising.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

PPC stands for pay-per-click. Each time someone clicks on a marketer’s ad, the advertiser pays a fee. It is a way to “buy” visitors to a site, rather than “earning” them organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is the process of getting traffic to your website with a specific strategy. Search engines use algorithms to look for keywords, quality content, links to each web page and website optimization to rank a page in search engine results. To enhance SEO, marketers edit content, add new content regularly and include specific web coding to increase visibility.

CMS (Content Management System)

CMS stands for content management system. A CMS manages the creation and alterations of digital marketing content. A CMS can support multiple users and allows for collaboration between these users. Some features of CMS systems include web-based publishing, format management, search and indexing.

In Public Relations


An advertorial is the combination of advertising (paid) and editorial (non-paid) content. An advertorial is an advertisement made to read like a regular article or other editorial content. Often, companies will pay to have their content published in a magazine or other publication so it looks like regular content. If the content is paid, there will be a disclaimer at the top or the bottom denoting this.


A boilerplate is standard text used at the end of a news release. It provides a summary of the company or partners sending the news release. A boilerplate can be used in multiple contexts without requiring much editing to the copy.


An embargo is a request from an information source to hold specific information or a story until a certain date or certain conditions have been met.


A pitch is a story idea submitted to the media. Often, public relations professionals will pitch stories in hopes of earning media coverage. Pitching is a skill that requires persuasive skills and creativity when crafting the message, along with strong media relationships.


Beat is a term used in journalism to describe a specialized reporting topic. It is the in-depth reporting of a specific issue. Examples include education, food, business and labor.

In Graphic Design


Documents designed for printed use are pre-set to a printer’s “bleed” when they are sent to be printed. Bleed means they will be printed to the edges of the paper (there will be no white space in the margins).


CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black). These four colors are used during the printing process. A printer combines the four colors to create additional colors in the final product.


Kerning is used in the graphic design industry. It describes the process of altering the spacing between individual characters in a proportional font. A graphic designer may use kerning to create visually appealing text by adding or removing space between letters.


The pica is a unit of measurement used in typography and graphic design. Pronounced PIE-kah, a pica is about 1/6 of an inch. Design programs such as Adobe InDesign use the pica to represent measurements of text.


A proof is the final version of a written piece, design or product sent to the client for final approval before being released for its intended external use.

Vector Graphic

A vector graphic is an image created on a computer. These graphics use two-dimensional points connected by lines and curves to create a clear image, such as a logo. A designer may ask to use a vector graphic in a design to get the highest-quality image.


A JPEG is the most popular file format used for digital images. JPEGs are beneficial because the degree of compression can be altered, which allows for optimal storage size and image quality.

PNG (Portable Network Graphic)

PNG stands for portable network graphic, which is a file type used to store graphics for web usage. A PNG is unique because it uses indexed colors and lossless compression. PNGs also do not have copyright limitations.

Now that you’ve got more vocabulary at your fingertips, you can engage in “marketing speak” with your favorite marketing and communications professionals!

Questions about marketing, public relations or graphic design? We’ve got answers. Reach out to us today and we can discuss anything from boosting your website traffic and customer base to getting your story out to the public.