When a person writes a press release, there are many things to take into consideration. It is essential to follow a certain format and structure, where you have to include the following sections: headline, date, summary, text content, and a section about your brand. However, there is another set of procedures you need to follow to make your press release look professional. We speak about the usage of AP format. Do you know what AP format means? If you have no clue at all, please continue reading the article to learn everything about stylistic procedures for your next press release.
AP Format Definition
AP format stands for the Associated Press. You must know that there is a group of press experts who are responsible for setting strict regulations for print publications, which you have to follow if you want to see your press release published. In the press industry everybody knows the standards and follows them. Note that the Associated Press has slightly different standards for a typical press release, which we are going to s below.
Keep in Mind the Following AP Format Rules While Writing Press Releases:
When you start writing the introduction of the press release, you need to set the key objectives. If you want your campaign to be successful, setting the goals is your top priority. You must understand, if a journalist reads the first two lines and does not find the main objectives, you can be sure he will move on to the next press release.
When you write the body of your press release, it is essential to cover the “Five Ws”. It is the only way to have the maximum attention of the editor. The goal of your press release is to provide all the information the editor needs to write an eye-catching story for a big audience. By doing like this, you do not make them conduct any further research.
Do not forget to verify that in your spacing with punctuation everything is correct. It is a technical side of writing a professional press release. Do you know that you must use a single space after punctuation, and before it none. We understand that it is something unusual to you, as most people tend to add a double space after punctuation. Just remember the rule and follow it strictly while writing a press release.
When we write a normal text, which includes a list of items, we use a comma before the last “and”. However, when we apply AP format to your press release, you have to drop the last comma in your listing.
When you want to introduce someone in your release, you need to use full names/titles. It is essential to do so because it is the first introduction of someone in your press release, for example, a CEO or other members of the team. Do it only in the beginning. In the rest of the text the usage of the last name is enough.
Pay attention to your numbers. When you use the AP format, you should not forget that particular style rules exist for numbers. You need to spell out numbers from 1 to 9. After 9, you can use numerals (10). It is necessary to use only numbers for dates/months, in case they consist of more than five letters.
Why Do We Need To Stick To AP Format in Press Releases?
Yes, AP format seems a bit tricky if you are not used to it. Many people wonder why they should bother themselves?! Believe us, your editor cares about the proper usage of AP format. So, if you want your press release to be published, you have to follow the general rules.