Newsworthiness and relevance are vital to a press release’s effectiveness, but PR pros also must write well and follow Associated Press style if they want journalists to take their stories seriously.
These five tips can clear up common AP style mistakes:
1. Avoid unnecessary capitalization.
Proper nouns that indicate a specific person, place or thing should be capitalized. This includes any common nouns that are within a company’s name.
Correct: Quaker Oats brand managers announced a new product line Wednesday.
Correct: Justin Bieber was spotted without a shirt on River Street on Saturday.
In headlines, only the first word, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns should be capitalized.
Correct: How marketers can easily create infographics
Incorrect: How I Learned To Incorrectly Write A Headline
2. Don’t make alphabet soup.
Only use abbreviations and acronyms readers will quickly recognize; don’t use them just to save a few words. Acronyms and abbreviations for well-known entities can be used in headlines as well as within the body of a press release.