PR Word of the Week #20: CP Style

One of the core skills of a public relations or communications professional is the ability to write. And that doesn’t mean writing words on a paper and calling it Shakespeare. The skill of writing comes from writing words that engage your reader and, of course, following those pesky grammatical rules.

In public relations and communications, those “pesky” rules are also referred to as CP Style.

This week’s PR Word of the Week describes why a public relations professionals starts to get a tick when they see you write “7” and not seven.

CP Style

(sē-pē stīl)

The standards that guide the use of punctuation, capitalization and other grammatical elements, as well as specific style guidance on every topic from Aboriginal People to weather. Also includes a tricky words and pronunciation guide for Canadian place names. And finally, a guide on writing and editing pointers for those trying to makes news.

The various rules and guidelines are found in the Canadian Press Stylebook.


The Canadian Press Stylebook is the bible of a public relations and communications professional. Some of the rules and guidelines I continuously flip to include:

  • Capitalization: with over 25 pages of rules on words that should and should not be capitalized, I refer to this section to help me figure out if president should capitalized (note: only if you are referring to the big cheese, also know as Mt. Obama).
  • Abbreviations and acronyms: with about nine pages of rules on whether or not the CBC, UFO or the U.S. takes a period or not.
  • Numbers: five pages of seven, 7UP and 0.7 centimetres, how to properly write numbers from one to infinity and beyond.

Whether you’re in journalism, communications, publishing or public relations, CP Style helps ensure accuracy and consistency when it comes to abbreviations, hyphenated and compound words, correct names of Canadian corporations and newsmakers, Internet terms, pop culture references and more.

If you aren’t sure if you text message to a smartphone or textmessage to a smart phone, the CP Stylebook is there for you.

Do you use CP Style? Is the CP Stylebook at home, at work and on your phone, just in case you need to ensure your writing log-on and not logon? Please share your opinion on the importance of writing using the CP Style. Leave a comment below.

Leave a Reply