Why learning AP style is a must for PR pros

Students of public relations, minor in journalism to help you fine-tune your writing (and make it easier for news outlets to pick it up). On top of that, buy—and study—the latest AP Stylebook.

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I spent the first four years of my career without knowledge of AP style.

I would write press releases, yet I had no idea why journalists would either correct, reject or ignore them altogether.

My professional life changed when I started my time with the Round Rock Express, working for Larry Little.

A journalism major, Little taught me the basics of AP style in the first month, followed by more in-depth rules over the following year. I learned that I should write out numbers one through nine. I learned about proper state abbreviations: In text, it is Fla., not the postal abbreviation FL. ( Editor’s note; AP style now has us write out state names.)

Here’s a major mistake that 99 percent (not 99%) of people still make: Did you know you cannot perform a given task “on a day?” No, you did not go to the store on Saturday. You went to the store Saturday. Do not bring casual speaking habits into your professional writing.

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