TOW #4: Get with the style– AP Style, that is

Associated Press Style (AP Style) is a writing style, like those of the Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA), which is used specifically for news and publication writing.

It is important for public relations professionals because they must use AP Style when writing press releases to send to journalists. AP Style provides a set of rules for all journalists and public relations professionals to go by, so the grammar and punctuation of their writing is the same across the board.

Those who plan on working in either journalism or public relations need to be well-versed in AP Style in order to get jobs and keep jobs. They will work with AP Style on a daily basis, so it is important that they are comfortable not only with AP Style, but also with using the AP Stylebook.

Image Credit: “The Associated Press” by adotmanda

There are several sections in the AP Stylebook that should be flagged for easy access because they are used often. Those sections include: academic titles, addresses, composition titles, courtesy titles, datelines, legislation titles, military titles, names, numbers and numerals, religious titles, states, titles, social media, and punctuation guide.

The thing I struggle with the most with AP Style, as a college student, is that MLA has been engraved in my head after using it for approximately five years. I have gotten in the habit of pulling up Microsoft Word and automatically beginning to format my term papers in MLA. As a Journalism/Public Relations major, it is essential that I learn AP Style, so I’ve begun the somewhat arduous journey of learning AP Style and being able to switch back and forth between AP Style and MLA.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a good resource for learning more about AP Style, as is the AP Style Bootcamp found at Public Relations Matters.

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