“The only constant in life in change.” Heraclitus may not have envisioned his observation serving as a mantra for public relations professionals, but those who deal with words on a regular basis know that language is in a constant state of flux.
Those changes are why the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook is an invaluable tool for journalists and PR pros alike. In fact, the AP Stylebook recently released its latest update, featuring new guidance on language largely influenced by technological and societal trends.
Here are the latest AP Stylebook updates that PR pros need to know:
AP Stylebook Updates on AI (Artificial Intelligence)
As the hottest topic in the communications world, artificial intelligence/AI will likely be written about a lot for the foreseeable future. The AP Stylebook recommends these six considerations when covering the topic:
- how AI systems work;
- where they are deployed;
- how well AI systems perform;
- whether AI systems are regulated;
- who benefits and makes money as a result; and
- which communities may be negatively impacted by such tools.
The AP Stylebook also reinforces that journalists must understand both the vocabulary associated with and concepts used in the creation of AI technologies.
Additional AP Stylebook Guidance on AI
Additionally, the AP suggests reporters look for stories highlighting the people behind AI systems, context about the limitations of such tools, and transparency issues regarding their deployment. Keeping these types of stories in mind can help PR pros when pitching AI-related stories across a wide variety of industries.
When crafting your pitch, also note that not all AI-related terms are created equal. Consult the AP Stylebook for proper usage of terms like “artificial intelligence” versus “artificial general intelligence,” since they are not synonymous.
Likewise, knowing the specific definitions such as “algorithm” (computational instructions that solve a problem or perform a specific task) and “AI bias” (decisions guided by tools that replicate or amplify human biases along lines of age, race, color, ethnicity, etc.) will help to ensure your pitch is clearly communicating your story.
New AP Stylebook Updates on Familiar Subjects
The AP Stylebook has also revised several entries regarding how to reference certain topics. The biggest one PR pros should take note of is how to refer to social media platform once known as Twitter.
The AP Stylebook says it should now be called “X, formerly known as Twitter” upon first reference. The word “tweet” remains acceptable as a noun or verb (despite its CEO’s desire for posts to be referred to as “X’s.”). Also acceptable is phrasing such as “posted on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter” with later references simply being “the X platform” or “X.”
While technology and language may constantly be changing, the fundamentals of solid PR writing don’t — which is why it’s more important than ever to ensure the words you are using are telling your story correctly.
That’s not AI — it’s just common sense.
For more about recent AP Stylebook updates and other PR writing hacks, check out: