The Associted Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law is defined by WikiPedia as “a style and usage guide used by newspapers and in the news industry in the United States.” But this style is also important for those writing for social media and especially important for those writing for public relations.
In my own 2010 version, I could find everything from “An A-Z listing of guides to capitalization, “Social Media Guidelines”, abbreviation, spelling, numerals and usage”, a “Guide to Punctuation” and “Photo Captions” throughout the Contents page.
Based off its composition, the AP Stylebook is an extremely helpful tool for press and online writers novices and connoisseurs alike. It’s a great quick reference guide for everything a writer will and can come across like uncommon punctuation. For example, the usage of commas in a series of three or more, the order and capitalization of military titles and how to write out datelines.
Honestly, the only formats I’ve significantly worked with are the MLA format, which I used for most English papers all throughout high school and the APA format, which is the standard style in the business world. My junior year in high school, I took a Journalism course where I learned that not all writing is the same kind of writing as done in English classes, but that writing for journalism/ public relations is actually an entirely different planet from the world of English papers!
I still struggle with many things in my writing since I’m still farely new to social media and public relations. Some of the main things, though, are writing out datelines, names and titles, metric conversions, citing sources, hashtagging and photo captions.
Most of these I have not had to worry about because I’ve only written six posts or so to this day. Nonetheless, I still worry that I won’t remember the correct way to capitalize “President Obama” and each consecutive way after that if I have to write about him in the upcoming election for classes!
This AP Stylebook, however, should help me overcome this fear. Just as long as I keep it close to my computer and proofread everything I write. I’m already beggining to feel like a better PR writer actually, even though there’s so much I need to improve on. It feels fantastic to know that I have a great way to proof my writing so that I’m not blindly submitting my writing into this whole new world of AP style.