What PR professionals need to know from The AP Stylebook in 2020

Since 1953, The Associated Press has published and regularly updated The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (more commonly known as the AP Stylebook) for writing and editing reference. It’s designed to provide consistent, clear, brief guidelines to United States professionals and publications such as newspapers, magazines, journalists and public relations professionals. It provides grammar, spelling, punctuation and language usage guidelines. In 2020 The AP Stylebook is in its 55th edition and has grown to include more than 200 revised and new entries.

The Blueprint Alaska team has reviewed new entries and summarized the most notable takeaways below:

  • The Coronavirus Topical Guide , which was introduced in early March, includes new and revised entries on coronaviruses and education-related terms. The Coronavirus Topical Guide uses The AP Stylebook guidelines to include direction on the usage of key terms (e.g. COVID-19, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , epidemic, pandemic, etc.). This is a particularly valuable resource for agencies such as the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services as they disseminate COVID-19 updates to the general public.  
  • Clarification between climate change and global warming has been added to further differentiate the two terms. While global warming (the increase of average temperature around the world) is an aspect of climate change, climate change is the more accurate term to be used when describing the various effects of the increase in levels of greenhouse gases on the world. This addition aids organizations like The Alaska Support Industry Alliance , as they promote responsible exploration, development and production of oil, gas and mineral resources in Alaska.
  • Individually listed technology-related terms (platform, search engine optimization, Big Tech, etc.) are continually added and revised as the language and terms associated with technology evolves. As with any written and verbal messaging, it’s important to carefully consider your audience in regards to technology. Younger generations are typically more familiar with, and require less explanation of, the language and terms, whereas older generations may need more explanation. These additions are relevant to agencies like Blueprint Alaska, as we expand our offered services to our clients based on the latest technology-related marketing trends.

As the authoritative resource for public relations professionals, Blueprint Alaska will continue to remain up to date with The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law as they shift to publishing revised editions biennially. Our commitment to crafting powerful messages based on the AP Stylebook’s guidelines paired with years of experience in communications and marketing throughout Alaska assures that our team is the right choice to help with your public relations and public affairs needs.

– Tony Spiroski

To receive a complimentary consultation, email Sarah Erkmann Ward, APR at sarah@blueprintak.com.

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