Beginner Rules of AP Style

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Image via apstylebook.com

The Associated Press Stylebook is a manual that both journalists and public relations practitioners follow. AP Style includes rules and formatting suggestions for written documents. Journalists use it in articles, while PR practitioners use it in press releases. The stylebook changes a bit every year, sometimes to reflect cultural terms or new words. In general, there are few easy rules for journalists and PR practitioners to remember.

1. Numbers one through nine are spelled out, while numbers 10 and above are typically represented as numerals. Example: “I have three pets at home.”

2. Percentages are always represented as numerals, while the word “percent” is spelled out. Example: “I give 100 percent of my attention to this job.”

3. Ages are always represented as numerals. Example: “She is 25 years old.”

4. Dollar amounts use the “$” sign and express the amounts as numerals. Example: “You have $12,000 in the bank.”

5. Dates are represented as numerals. The months of August through February are abbreviated, and the months of March through July are never abbreviated. “Th” is also not used when mentioning the month. Example: “I have an appointment with the doctor on Dec. 6.”

6. Farther means physical distance, while further is an extension of time or degree. Example: “You walked farther than your friend” or “I will look further into the issue.”

7. Street addresses are expressed as numerals. If terms like “street”, “way” or “road” are paired with a number, they are abbreviated. If not, they are spelled out. Two exceptions are “route” and “road”, which are never abbreviated. Example: “You live at 546 Sycamore St. Her work office is on Holmes Road.”

8. United States and U.S. are used in different cases. United States is used as a noun, while U.S. is used as an adjective. Example: “I live in the United States. I live on U.S. territory.”

9. Job titles are capitalized before a person’s name, but lowercase after the name or independent of it. Example: “President Barack Obama is in the White House. The president is speaking.”

10. Media titles, like those of films, books and songs, are capitalized and put in quotation marks. Quotation marks should not be used for reference books, magazines or newspapers. Example: “I saw the movie ‘Frozen’ last week.”

Interested in knowing more about AP Style? The stylebook can be purchased online for multiple devices. To purchase the AP Stylebook, click here.

Five Apps for PR Professionals

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Image via socialmediatravelers.com

There are apps for everything, including the public relations field. Some PR apps can help with interviews and writing. Others can manage work files and social media. PR Daily has a list of 50 apps they recommend. However, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start.

For practitioners new to apps, here are five of my favorites. I’ve summarized their names and features in this post. While laptops and desktops are preferable, these mobile apps can give practitioners a leg up while working outside the office.

  • Call Recorder. This app allows busy practitioners to tape interviews over the phone. Say you need to get a quote from an executive for a press release. You can easily call them and record their quote. It’s a great method for getting the precise wording from a phone interview.
  • Evernote. Evernote works on both mobile devices and on computers. It’s a workspace that you can use on either technology. It stores notes and to-do lists for the busy professional. It’s an especially helpful app for staying organized.
  • Adobe Photoshop Express. Free for both iPhone and Android users, this app offers on-the-go photo editing. Users can crop and adjust colors on the image before sharing it on various sites.
  • Facebook Pages Manager. Many PR practitioners specialize in social media. Since social media runs round the clock, it’s important to have access to it on a smartphone. The pages manager app gives practitioners flexibility to answer messages and make posts on their phone.
  • Pulse. Pulse keeps practitioners up-to-speed on news, blogs and social media. It gathers all new information into one place. It’s a popular way for PR people to keep up with trends and important news updates.

What apps do you use for public relations? Share your picks in the comments.

January 2015 Social Media Recap

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Image via webtitan.com

Social media becomes a municipal trend via Portland Press Herald

Where is Social Media Heading in 2015? via Tech Cocktail

Social media to be banned for state employees in S.C. while working via Charlotte Observer

How to Properly Use Social Media to Fit Your Business Strategy via Forbes

Five Facts About Social Media Usage Today via Huffington Post

Obama’s Social Media Team Tries To Widen Audience For State of the Union Address via New York Times

Social media: ‘no direct association with stress’ via Medical Today

Facebook needs a ‘Sympathy’ button via Mashable

#JeSuisCharlie and the Day After via Social Media Today

POUCH Review

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Photo via POUCH’s Facebook

I mostly use this blog for writing and PR posts, hence the title “All Things Communications.” Sometimes I deviate from that to write about Athens and its local businesses. I’ve been a resident of Athens since 2010 and I try to buy local when I can. This post focuses on Pouch, a new bar and international restaurant, that opened in Athens this month.

Located at 151 E. Broad Street, Pouch brings a unique establishment to town. POUCH serves all kinds of pies, though they’re not the bakery-style apple or cherry pies some may be used to. Instead these pies are savory and themed.

Feeling love for America? Try the Pastriot, which includes beef, cheese, pickle relish and ketchup baked into a little pie.

Want to travel a bit further? Order the Pietanic, a Russian concoction that has wild salmon, mushrooms, rice, dill, egg and lemon.

Or maybe you want something spicy? In that case, get the Hot Chick, a Portuguese spicy chicken and sausage pie with piri piri and white wine.

The best part about the three pies? They’re only $5.50 each. All of the pies, which are geographically themed, are fixed at the same price. POUCH serves the pies fast, so you’ll have time to try another while you’re there.

Another feature of POUCH is the full bar, which serves mixed drinks and draft beer. They have recommendations based off the pie you chose. Other POUCH features include a dessert menu, cozy wooden tables and a large TV in the back.

POUCH is open Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Interested in checking out POUCH? The menu (from their Facebook page) is below.

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Press Release Templates

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Image via writerswin.com

Press releases are one of the staples of being in public relations. Many practitioners write releases on a regular basis. Before entering the industry, it’s important to know AP Style and how press releases are normally constructed.

In general, press releases include information about an important event, program or opportunity presented by the client. Press releases have to include the most relevant information, that way both consumers and journalists can understand the news by quickly reading. At a minimum, practitioners should include the who, what, when, where and why, a boilerplate and contact information.

I’ve gathered a few press release templates from across the Internet. Some are written for small businesses, while others offer suggestions for information to include. Each release is different, though these templates may help provide the framework needed for young practitioners.

Hubspot press release template

Microsoft Word press releases

Templatepressrelease.com (templates downloadable from page)

PR Syndication press release

Small Business PR press release

Buckle Down for Learning

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A new semester has begun. I’m already into a week’s worth of spring schoolwork. Based off initial impressions, this semester will be more difficult than last. For one, I’m taking an additional class. I’m also taking a graduate statistics course that counts as a cognate. But with everything on my plate, I think I should manage. Last August, my classwork was overwhelming at first but eventually I settled.

I’m still in the settling phase, but I’m starting my assignments for each class. I’ve already started a project and completed a paper and a lab. I’ve also read chapters for most of the classes. I’m not complaining though. If anything, I’m thankful that I have classes and work to keep me busy. I prefer being productive over idle. It’s a bonus that I’ll learn at the same time.

This semester I’ll be taking:

  • Graphic Communications. In this course we’ll be learning the basics of design software. We’ll also have a few design projects of our own, which I’ll most likely share on this blog.
  • Applied Statistics. This is an important class in terms of graduate education and research. I usually struggle with math, so I hope I’ll make a few breakthroughs this spring.
  • Public Opinion. This is a course taught through the journalism school at UGA each year. A number of journalism, advertising and public relations students take it since the topic has to do with their future careers.
  • PR Topics. This topics class specifically focuses on health communication. We’ll be looking at real world examples and creating health PR campaigns of our own.

Happy New Year!

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Image via messagesquotes.com

It’s a brand new year, folks. December 2014 did a number on me. I wrapped up my first semester of grad school, made gifts on a shoestring budget and caught a severe case of the flu. This only gave me more reason to put down blogging for a bit. I’ve come back with some gusto though. I’m ready to post on a (somewhat) regular basis with writing stories, thrifting ideas and PR tips.

I’m not a huge resolutions person. I make goals for each year, but I try to be realistic about them. Instead of losing weight, I try to lead a healthier lifestyle. Instead of simply saving money, I try to budget better and spend less on things like coffee trips or restaurant outings.

So for this year, my main goal is to try and slow down. I often work hard and burn out fast. I need to be better about pacing myself, especially since I’ve got plenty of years of work ahead. For 2015, I want to take things as they come. I want to naturally enjoy what happens in this new year. Details of this adventure to come.