Reading List: June 16, 2016

AP Style changes, intellectual property & social media influencers.

Reading List: June 16, 2016

Why should you sort through a mountain of marketing, public relations, and business articles when I read them anyway? Every other week (or so), I’ll share the best of them with you. Here’s this week’s round-up.

AP Stylebook changes for 2016.

The 2016 updates to the AP Stylebook became official earlier this month. While much has been made about no longer capitalizing the words “web” and “internet,” are you up to date with the rest of the changes?

The Associated Press details them at the official Stylebook site, and Mignon Fogerty provides a compilation of the highlights – with explanations, examples, and context – via her Grammar Girl column at

Should YOU use AP Style? It depends entirely on your audience. I write a lot of press releases, and many of the people who read them are journalists and bloggers – who also use AP Style or some modified version of it. Whichever style is your default – AP Style, Chicago Manual of Style, or in-house – the most important thing is that you are consistent with how you apply it.

Note: I tend to use modified AP Style for my own projects (my sites) but default to my clients’ and employers’ requests for their work.

What fans & fan creators don’t understand about intellectual property law & fair use.

Copyright infringement is often as close as a stroll through the dealers’ room or artists’ alley at your local pop culture event. As the summer convention season kicks off in earnest, lawyer Seth Polansky tackles the topic of intellectual property rights and offers artists and vendors some plain-spoken advice. Hint: There are a lot of misunderstandings about what constitutes “fair use.” [via @debaoki.]

The business of social media influence.

So you wanna be a social media star? (Or just want to work with one for your next marketing/PR campaign?) Designer, stylist, and Instagram influencer Sam Ushiro offers Refinery29 insight into what it takes to build (and keep) her following, as well as a candid discussion about her rates and how the secrecy surrounding influencers’ rates hurts content creators. (My favorite quote: “I don’t pay my rent in socks.”)

Some might think the lack of transparency helps marketers by enabling them to lowball creators. For a little while, maybe. In the long-term, I’d argue it warps perceptions about what is financially sustainable and isn’t. Too many companies are shocked when go-to publications and partners go out of business. They shouldn’t be so surprised.

Ushiro has one of the most colorful feeds on Instagram, so be sure to check it out, too! (It’s one of my favorites.)

Is there a topic you’d like me to cover – or a subject you’d like to see – in these link collections?

Let me know via Twitter, Facebook, or email!