Last week the Associated Press released new “StyleGuard” software, which acts as a system to check for AP style mistakes in Microsoft Word documents. When I heard this, I was in shock, as well as many PR students probably are, that the idea had not been thought of before! This application could be the perfect way to avoid constantly checking your stylebook when initially learning how to write in AP style.
When I further investigated the product, I found out it is probably not the magical solution to writing in AP style that I originally thought it seemed to be. Subscriptions start at $60 for an individual user, which puts the product out of price range for most college students, considering that the AP Stylebook is only about $12. Also, it has only been developed for PCs, so Mac users will not be able to use the product at all. Last week, @APStylebook even tweeted “StyleGuard is a useful tool but it’s not a substitute for the skills you develop as a knowledgeable writer.”
The software is a great idea that can be developed further and eventually become widely used to help prevent PR students and professionals from making minor AP style mistakes. For now, it looks like it would be best for us to pay attention in our news writing classes and aspire to be our own StyleGuard!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kyra Mazurek.