The Associated Press Stylebook is an essential device for every journalist, editor and writer. If you have not yet acquainted yourself with this book, you definitely should. As aspiring professionals in the communications field it’s important we use this Stylebook as a reference when writing.
I am currently taking a news writing and media relations class and this book truly acts as my bible in this course. After using this book, I became more aware of the silly mistakes I made when writing articles and press releases. Now, having this book as a resource it eliminates trivial errors in my writing.
Below, are some minor pointers the AP Stylebook brought to my attention while writing a better press release:
Addresses: When writing an address, we only abbreviate street, avenue and boulevard in a numbered address.
Numbers: Be sure to spell out numbers one through nine and use figures 10 and above unless, its a measurement,math, money or starts a sentence.
Times: When writing the time use figures except for noon and midnight.
Months: Be sure to abbreviate months that are longer than five letters.
Formal Titles: Tittles are lowercase unless it is a formal title, it is right in front of a name and it is not set off with a comma. For e.g President Barack Obama spoke at a conference in Dubai. The aforementioned example demonstrates the title being uppercase. An example to show the title lowercase is: The president, Barack Obama spoke at a conference in Dubai.
Whether you are wondering if a specific word should be capitalized or if a title should be abbreviated or not, the AP Stylebook will answer such. Remember, the less errors in your writing generates a clearer message to your audience.