The Associated Press Stylebook
AP Style Guide Cheat Sheet
VOICE AND TONE
Be smart and informed, but not overly pedantic. Suggest that readers are proactive about security risks, without scare tactics. We are educating not selling.
Use direct, clear sentences in the active voice, instead of the passive voice. Discuss with your content developer if it’s preferable to use the first person (I) or the second person. Contractions are acceptable for an approachable tone such as in blogs, but use them consistently.
WRITING STYLE SHOULD EMULATE FORTUNE:
Headlines follow AP Style with caps for all words except articles. If an article is four words or more please use uppercase, for example, About, Which.
Subheads are sentence case with only the first word and proper nouns in uppercase.
Use lowercase for the full text of acronyms, for example internet of things (IoT). Use uppercase if it is a proper noun like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Smart, engaging headlines and simple business prose. Infographics and diagrams should emulate Popular Science in their detail and ability to explain complex topics simply.
Refer to Fortune Magazine for examples on blog news tone and style
- Use short and direct titles and subtitles that are descriptive and interesting
- Speak directly and factually without hyperbole or wordiness
BLOG CODE SNIPPETS:
When blogs include samples of code, the code should be formatted in Courier Font (standard 16 pt font size) and included as an image, not text.
Strive to write direct, shorter sentences. Write for visual scanners, with the headline and subhead clearly communicating key information. Communications should have supporting information such as tables, diagrams, pull quotes, etc.
All diagrams and figures must include a caption. The caption should clearly explain what is shown so it is accessible even for those who have not read the article.
Poor Caption – Figure 1: A map of the United States
Proper Caption – Figure 1: The growth of urban populations in the United States between 1950 and 2010.
Exabeam + Product Name, e.g., Exabeam Data Lake.
Product Name in initial caps, e.g., Data Lake.
Use of Acronyms:
In external writing, product names should not be shortened to acronyms. For example, Exabeam Advanced Analytics should not be shortened to AA. Product names should always be spelled out according to the usage rules above.
The only exception is Exabeam Security Management Platform. It can be shortened to SMP but only after the first mention, which should include the acronym in parentheses. For example, “Exabeam Security Management Platform (SMP)”.
Internal use of product acronyms is acceptable, but not preferred. Use the full product name according to the rules above when possible.
Avoid brand-name competitor bashing, yet inform readers of the weakness of other technology approaches where it applies. Avoid too many adjectives and adverbs.
AVOID JARGON AND HACKNEYED WORDS:
- Business (recommend organization instead)
- Next-generation (see exception below)
- Now more than ever…
- State of the art
- Today, …
- Transparent or transparently
- Unmatched, unrivalled, unparalleled
- Using i.e. and e.g. Instead use “and more”
- Next-gen only acceptable when applied to SIEM, SOC or CISO, as in “next-gen SIEM.”
Below are commonly-used words that appear in our writing. These are the standard way to spell and/or format them.