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How to Format the Dateline of a Press Release Using AP Style

What is AP format? Associated Press Style (AP Style) refers to the standardization of information that enables news outlets worldwide to have a consistent and uniform structure for news writing, syntax, abbreviations, and titles.

The AP style is the benchmark against which all news writing is assessed. Moreover, just as a press release format is crucial, so is its content.

According to research by USC Annenberg, 88% of public relations professionals and 80% of marketers believe digital storytelling is the future of communications.

As the emphasis on writing attractive press releases increases, business professionals must develop their skills and use AP Style.

If your content is written in AP Style, the media are more likely to be interested in your article. Because using the language and format, they are most familiar with demonstrates your professionalism and comprehension of the material they need to create their own story.

You've arrived at this blog to learn about AP-style dateline formatting for press releases.

And that is just how we intend to assist you.

The dateline is a news item or press release section specifying the location and time of the event being covered.

Datelines are vital since they are the first thing a reader and any journalist considering picking up your story will see. They want actual, current news, not several weeks old.

The AP Style Rules
There are numerous essential guidelines to follow. According to the AP Stylebook, a good dateline should include "a city name, totally in capital letters, followed in most cases by the name of the state, county, or territory in which the city is located."

Some major urban regions do not require state involvement. These consist of the following:


It is vital to utilize the correct state abbreviation according to AP style if they require a state.

  • KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Missouri)
  • PORTLAND, Ore. (Oregon)
  • PORTLAND, Maine

The AP Style abbreviations differ from postal abbreviations and are inconsistent.

Here is a brief list for your reference.

Important acronyms to remember include the following:

  • Calif. (usually CA)
  • Colo. (CO)
  • Conn. (CT)
  • Fla. (FL)

There are eight state names that, despite possessing a US Postal Service abbreviation, are never abbreviated in AP Style, even when accompanied by a city name.

The following are:

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Ohio
  • Texas
  • Utah

Always use Arabic numerals for dates, without the st, nd, rd, or th. (Example: 2, 3, 25 versus 2nd, 3rd, 25th)

When used alone or with the year alone, the names of the months should always be capitalized and written, as an illustration, in January and January 2022.

When a month is used with a specific day, only January, February, August, September, October, November, and December should be abbreviated, such as January 31.

When a phrase lists only the month and year, no commas are required between them. Nevertheless, when listing a month, day, and year. A comma should be used to separate the year.

Jan. 31, 2022 (BOSTON) (BOSTON)
Jan. 7, 2022– BOSTON
Jan. 7, BOSTON
Because content tends to remain accessible on the Internet long after it has been published, it is preferable to add the year so that there is no question about when the press release or news article was released.

Contact us immediately to chat with one of our PR Strategists if you wish to learn more about AP Style and how to use it when writing a press release correctly.

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