Friday, June 22, 2012

Grammar Issues in the Workplace

Posted by Amanda Walsh

I’ve noticed a lot of grammar posts and articles in the blogosphere lately. I’m not really sure why it’s become a point of focus, but we ladies here at Furia Rubel are certainly glad that more business-minded people are paying closer attention to the importance of proper grammar.

In the age of text messages, tweets and social media posts, it seems that everyone is trying to find the quickest way to communicate a message. Unfortunately, grammar has taken a back seat in our fast-paced world.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an interesting article with an interactive quiz to test your grammar skills. The article discusses ways hiring managers and business people are working to combat bad writing and grammar usage in the workplace. The author spoke to generational and human resources experts who noted that the grammar gaffes are being blamed on the 20- and 30-something employees at an organization. I tend to think that anyone can commit grammar mistakes regardless of their age.

One controversial grammar rule is “the Oxford comma.” It is the extra comma put before “and” or “or” in a series of nouns. Many argue that without it, the meaning of a sentence is completely altered. Those of us that adhere to AP Stylebook guidelines generally tend not to use it in the majority of our business writing. The author highlights another typical grammar mistake with this example: “He expected Helen and I to help him," instead of “Helen and me.” To test if you're using the rule correctly, you should be able to delete the other subject from the sentence and still have it make sense. To read more about this rule, go to The Guide to Grammar and Writing.

Perhaps the more we discuss grammar and encourage good writing and communicating skills, we can overcome the commonly-used grammar faux pas. To read more about some typical grammar gaffes, check out the article on

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Associated Press Stylebook Updates for 2012

Posted by Amanda Walsh

For many public relations professionals, the AP Stylebook is our writing Bible. It answers questions about hyphens, word usage, spelling and grammar. For this very reason it is so important to stay on top of changes made to the 2012 Stylebook. The recently released, 500-page, news writing guide has 270 new entries this year.

This article on highlights the most note-worthy changes for PR professionals.

Hopefully: Despite critics’ opposition to the addition, the AP now allows the use of the word meaning “it is hoped.”

Fashion lingo: Take note all you Fashion PR folks. Tiffany & Co., Velcro and A-line have been added into the AP Stylebook among other commonly-used words.

Broadcast language: Words and phrases such as b-roll, cut, fade, live shot, voice-over and VO are now accepted.

- Social Media guidelines: With the debut of social media terms in 2010, AP continues to add terms to its Stylebook. This year modified tweet, direct message and cloud were added.

Miscellaneous entries: Entries include fracking, Huffington Post, Godspeed, underwater and year-round, among others.

These additions along with 185 other entries are the updates for 2012. A helpful resource that we subscribe to at Furia Rubel is the AP Stylebook Online since it’s always up-to-date with the latest changes. Happy writing!

Photo courtesy of Poynter

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Social Media Round – Up

Posted by Amanda Walsh

There is always something new going on in the social media space and it can be hard to keep up with it all! See below for some interesting links to the latest news.

Facebook Finally Lets Page Admins Schedule Posts, Have Different Roles

Mashable reports that Facebook Page administrators may now schedule posts. Specific duties on a page will have different sets of permissions for working on the page. For example, the page “Manager” can manage other admin roles on the page, edit the page and add apps, create posts as the page and more. An “Insights Analyst” will only have access to Facebook Insights, the analytics tool that Facebook uses to track posts and the number of likes on a page.

Posts can be scheduled up to six months in advance at 15-minute increments. For the full chart of various Facebook Page responsibilities, check out the Mashable article.

Google Places Is Over, Company Makes Google+ The Center Of Gravity For Local Search

Local search just got a major overhaul. Google has integrated its Places product with Google+ making local pages more “interactive” with ratings from Zagat and other features. According to the Search Engine Land article, some of the changes and updates include:

• Google Places pages are now Google+ Local pages.
• Google+ now has a “Local” tab.
• Zagat reviews are fully integrated in Google+ and offer free reviews.
• Google+ Local pages are now integrated with Google properties like search, Maps, mobile, etc.
• Google+ Circles now have a filter for users to find reviews/recommendations from connections.

To read more, check out the article on Search Engine Land.

Below are a few other articles to note in the social media, advertising and marketing sphere:

In Facebook IPO, small investors who got burned should’ve known better

Facebook Will Disappear by 2020, Says Analyst

London Outdoes China in Brand Crackdown at Summer Olympics

Newspapers Cut Days From Publishing Week

CEOs Worldwide In Tune with Implications & Impact of Social Media [Study]

Check back on The PR Lawyer as we delve into these social media issues and more.