Associated Press Stylebook – AKA: The Smart Marketer’s Bible

Here are just a few of my favorite AP style tips and “commandments” to follow for copywriting success.

1. Capitalization

AP style states 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” and utilize 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. 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.