1. Capitalizing job titles after a person’s name – a no-no…
AP recommends that you only capitalize a title used before a person’s name, not after. The AP’s titles entry is long but worth a look since this is such a common element found in press releases.
2. Dates and times – eliminate redundancies.
Too often, we see dates written as “Wednesday, June 4, 2014” when writing simply “June 4” would suffice. Also, write dates as “June 4” and not “June 4th “ and times as “9:30 a.m.” and not AM. Always be careful with EDT vs. EST; simply using ET is a nice failsafe.
3. Trademark symbols – avoid them.
Trademarks and other symbols are not, and actually never have been, meant for use in PR and news copy. Remove these symbols to make it easier for reporters to utilize your releases.
4. Percent vs. % – in most cases, spell it out. Standard AP style suggests you write out “percent” in news releases, while utilizing the % symbol in tabular information such as financial tables.
5. Entitled vs. Titled – Can you spot the difference here?
The survey was titled “Top 100 AP Style Gaffes.” Let’s just say you’re entitled to make a few mistakes, just not AP style mistakes. In short, do not use “entitled” to refer to the title of something.
6. Acronyms come later – when referring to organizations:
Do not put an acronym in parentheses after the first reference to the organization. Easily recognizable acronyms, by themselves, can be used on second reference without spelling out the organization’s name a second time.
7. The dreaded –ly – avoid hyphenating these words:
Do not hyphenate a compound modifier when using adverbs that end in -ly, such as commercially-available products. The correct style is commercially available products, no hyphen.
8. Write it out – don’t use shortcuts when referring to numbers:
As the AP points out, spell out numerals one through nine and use figures for 10 or above.