Tag Archives: PR agency

What’s your AP Stylebook Pet Peeve?

As PR professionals, we have been taught and follow the rules of the Associated Press Stylebook. The AP Stylebook is the PR professional’s bible. And occasionally there are individuals who break the rules. Sometimes by mistake and others simply may not know what the Associated Press has to say about it.

I’m on a mission to call out some common AP Stylebook mistakes because I see them too often.

My AP Style pet peeve is when people refer to a one-page informational document as a flyer. According to the AP, flier is the preferred term for an aviator or handbill; It irritates me because flyer is the proper name of some trains and buses.

I’ve asked my fellow Franconians to describe their biggest AP Stylebook pet peeve and here’s what they had to say:

“Major cities1 stand alone in datelines: Detroit is one of them that doesn’t need the state included.”

Joe F AP Stylebook

Joe Ferlito, account manager

“My biggest AP Stylebook pet peeve is capitalizing job titles. Unless you’re the President of the United States or the Pope, your job title should not be capitalized2.”

AMF AP Stylebook

Ann Marie Fortunate, account supervisor

“Irregardless: it’s not a word! According to AP Stylebook, “irregardless is a double negative. Regardless is correct.”

MP AP Stylebook

Mary Parkinson, assistant account executive

“When people refer to a page(s) on the web as a ‘web site’ (two words), I mentally glare at them. We’re in 2016, but some people still don’t know the difference between the place a spider weaves its web and an internet3 page. AP Style says, when referring to the internet ‘website’ is one word. Sorry Charlotte.”

RC AP Stylebook online

Rene Cizio, account manager

Last, but not least, we had a few people in the office who had plenty to say about the Oxford comma. Here are their thoughts:

“My biggest pet peeve is the Oxford comma… I used to love it and was taught to use it through high school, so I was very surprised to learn that it’s not proper AP Style. Now I always notice when someone uses it.”


Jennifer Spears, assistant account executive

“I hate the Oxford comma! It is just unnecessary punctuation.”


Erica Swoish, senior account executive

Do you have anything to add to the list of AP Stylebook pet peeves? Leave yours in the comments below.

1Note: AP Stylebook lists the following domestic cities that stand alone in datelines: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington.

2Note: AP Stylebook recommends capitalizing formal titles when they are used immediately before one or more names.

3Note: Prior to June 1, 2016, internet was capitalized. The entry has since been changed to lowercase the word.

Andrea Kenski is an account supervisor at Franco Public Relations Group and insists everyone spell flier with an “i” when referring to a handbill. You can reach her at (313) 567-5092 or kenski@franco.com. You can also follow her on Twitter: @detroitcitygrrl and connect on LinkedIn.

What my First Job at Dairy Queen Taught me About Management

During a recent school outing with my daughters, I ran into a childhood friend. We worked together when we were both teenagers, making the best ice cream sundaes around at a Dairy Queen in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. After that meeting I began to reminisce.

At an old little shack along Ford Road back in 1988, I forged some lasting friendships, realized the importance of a job, grew as a manager and quite frankly learned everything I need to know about life.

Photo courtesy of ChoppedOnion.com

Photo courtesy of ChoppedOnion.com

Here are a portion of the life lessons I learned while splitting bananas and blending blizzards:

Work hard and it pays off

As the youngest person to ever manage this popular franchise location, from counting cash flow, to ordering stock and supervising staff, I quickly learned the importance of responsibility. Striving to manage this location and sell more than my counterparts, I served with a smile and managed the same. I always expected the most of myself and my staff and still do that today in my current position. Since the days of cones and sprinkles, a strong work ethic has served me well.

The customer is always right

Interpersonal skills are a dying trait. Don’t get me wrong, I love to text and email as much as anyone, but the skill of communicating with someone in person is very critical to success. When a customer is standing in front of you and loudly offering up their concerns, it is imperative to take control of the situation. You must listen and then take quick action to solve the problem. Even today I do my fair share of client relations and have never forgotten what I learned.

The importance of a team

No sundae is complete without the toppings, just as a team is not complete without all crucial players involved. Playing to the strengths of those you manage is critical. I knew who on my shift was best at the register and who was most efficient at making sundaes and serving up cones. Even today I do my best to allow each and every one of my team members to do their best work on their terms (within reason). I encourage them to trust in their instincts and deliver an end product that they are proud of.

So for me that first job was more than gas money and a night out with my friends, it was a life lesson that I will never forget.

Tina Benvenuti Sullivan is a Senior Vice President at  Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5028 or Sullivan@franco.com.

Mom, PR Professional, Robot

A friend recently called me a robot. After being slightly offended, I sat back and actually thought about it. She was right. I am a robot.

I am scheduled, disciplined, regimented and extremely organized, and, like a robot, I follow the very same patterns every day. As a PR professional at Franco Public Relations Group and a mom of two young daughters, I often feel like I am on auto pilot. As I am certain most working parents would agree, the tasks of the day almost always outweigh the hours available. All we can do is maintain our sanity, love our family and enjoy our work. Most of all, we just smile and laugh, for every day is a juggling act of time, resources and patience.

It is important to remember that people who have a work-life balance don’t always have a work-life balance. It is the same analogy as sometimes you are the pigeon and sometimes you are the statue. Since not every day is the same, even if you live like a robot, you can only hope that most days you feel in control. And if not, it’s time to make a change. Parents magazine recently offered 11 steps to finding work-family balance in a crazy-busy world in the article The Working Mom Balancing Act.

Franco’s Tina Sullivan is a robot – but not really.

Although I am not prepared to offer highly intellectual tips or tricks on ways to achieve a work-life balance, I can offer a very basic rule – You can have it all. It just won’t all be perfect.

So stop watching everyone else paint the picture of perfection and just create your own unique reality — full of bad family photos, failed cooking expeditions, silly ideas and awkward moments. My life is full of them; it’s kind of fun that way.

Tina Benvenuti Sullivan  is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5028 or Sullivan@franco.com.