Associated Press Stylebook- AKA: The Smart Marketers Bible

The peanut butter to your jelly. The mac to your cheese. It’s no question that AP Style and marketing go hand in hand─ in this case book in hand. Why is this style so important to know and follow?

AP Style can be looked as another language for all of the different media outlets. It is the golden ticket straight into the media’s heart. Marketing, public relations and communication professionals should stay well-informed on AP style to relate to the media, write clean press releases, increase message adoption and simply sound smart. It’s the only way for us media gurus to communicate and work together effectively and consistently.
Here are a few of my favorite AP style tips and “commandments” to follow for AP style success:

1. Capitalization

AP recommends that all job descriptions are lowercase. Only capitalize a job description if it comes BEFORE a person’s name. Stick to only capitalizing proper nouns.

2. Dates and times

It’s 10:30 a.m. not 10:00 AM. Eliminate repetition and an unnecessary referral to a year. Example: “Wednesday, June 17, 2015” when writing just “June 17” would do.

3. Percent vs. %

Most of the time, spell it out. The AP style guide recommends you write out “percent” in news releases and utilizing the % symbol in information such as financial tables.

4. The Comma

Always avoid using a comma before the conjunction in a simple series. By omitting the extra comma, communication is concise. This is especially important in the world of limited characters on social media outlets such as Twitter. Correct example: The school colors are garnet, black and white.

5. Numbers

Always write out numbers one through nine. Use figures for 10 or above. Always use figures for ages, dimensions and highways. Spell out millions, billions and trillions. Example: $270 million.

6. Trademarks

AP style says to never use symbols for trademark (™) or registered mark (®) after every mention of a brand or product unless the client insists.

In the ever changing world of marketing and communications one thing remains─ AP style.