In most cases, companies use AP style press release to announce various developments. They press releases to announce their businesses, such as the launch of a new product. Major events like mergers and top appointments are also announced through press releases.
Upon writing a press release, it is distributed to media agencies to publish or air the statement to the public. A press release can either be released immediately or embargoed, depending on the writer’s instructions.[shortposting]
Types of an ap style press release
There are five common types of press releases:
- Partnership or company merger press release
This is written to announce a merger between two major companies. Give a short background of each company and its brand names. State the new name of the merger and briefly describe the intention.
- A new product launch press release:
A press release of this kind enlightens the consumers about a new product in the market. Provide brief information like the name, its importance, application, and availability.
- New appointment press releases
It announces a changeover in a company’s personnel. Remind the readers of the name and achievements of the outgoing personnel. You can then write a short profile of the incoming personnel.
- A research press release
A major discovery after scientific research can be announced through a press release. For example, health experts announced the discovery of the Coronavirus Delta variant.
- An emergency intervention press release
A company may have a press release announcing its plan to offer charity to the community. A press release can be published to announce a vaccination or donation of foodstuffs to a disadvantaged group.
AP is an abbreviation for Associated Press and is among the largest international news agencies. AP style press release refers to a press statement that adheres to guidelines given by AP.
A professional ap style press release writer must follow the ap style guideline when formatting their content.
You save yourself the embarrassment of writing an item full of errors. More so, your article will not be rejected by editors. You are assured that your story will be covered when you write using the AP-style press release guide.
A press release aims at informing the public about important issues of a company. It is a strategy that boosts your business or company.
Press release writing can be difficult if not done keenly. A skip of one step might have your statement shelved forever.
You can avoid such a scenario when you format your press release in ap style. Have your press release stand out. Turn your story into exciting news for media pickups. There are essential steps on how to write an effective ap style press release. Follow these essential practices to write a winning ap style press release.
Tips for writing an AP style press release
1. Study the AP guidelines
AP publishes a booklet with writing guidelines every year. These rules guide news writers to ensure uniformity in news writing. The main areas covered in the guidelines include:
- Proper use of numbers: Write numbers less than 10 in words. For instance, ‘It is now three years since the company…’ instead of ‘It is now 3 years since the company…’ Numbers above 10 should be in numerals. Write ‘23 houses’ instead of ‘twenty-three houses’
- Use of pronouns: AP style guidelines recommend that you use the third person only. Stick to words like they and them.
- Punctuation: In your press release, avoid using a comma when listing items.
The format used in Canada and UK is of serial commas like, ‘They bought cars, computers, and tractors.’ Americans use AP style that uses single commas. For instance, ‘They bought cars, computers and tractors.’ Ensure too that you apply a single space between one sentence and the other.
- Font types and sizes: Media agencies use Times New Roman or Arial when publishing articles. You need to follow the same when writing your story. The standard font size is 12. You can increase by one point for subheading and heading respectively.
- Titles and subtitles: Use title case when writing headlines. It should be clear and give a lead to the readers. Avoid the use of jargon and ambiguous words. Write a subtitle if you want to add more information. Place it in the middle like the title.
- Date format: Write all dates in numbers. Months with many letters are written in abbreviation form. December becomes Dec.
- Naming characters: Write the full name of a person when you first introduce them. For instance, start with Edward Jones, managing director of the company. In the subsequent sentences, address him by one name, like Jones.
You may read the guidelines but fail to get all the requirements right. There is a better way to create an AP-style press release format.
Use send2press to format and verify the application of ap style. The other alternative is to use an ap style press release template.
2. Determine the content of your press release
A press release has a content marketing value. How you write it determines the outcome. A well-crafted press release can greatly boost your company. You can either get more customers or lose them.
Draft your ap press release as a great story that will maintain the attention of your audience throughout. A standard AP-style press release has between 300 and 500 words.
A strong AP-style press release is designed to hit upon distribution. It should trend for a considerable time. You, therefore, need to determine the type of information to write about.
A quick answer to the following five Ws will help you come up with a credible press release:
- Who – indicate who is involved in your content. It could be an individual or a company. Give a name that will strike the emotions of your readers. Create curiosity and interest for the audience to read your press release.
- What – As a press release writer, you gathered much information before the actual writing. You should then pick the most appropriate to your audience.
Your article should answer what is happening or will happen. Ask yourself what news your readers require.
- When – Stale news can keep readers away. Follow the event closely to confirm its validity. Confirm that the product you are writing about is in the market.
- Where – Think about the place where the news is taking place
- Why – What is the purpose of writing a press release? Is it worth it? Assess the importance of the press release you are planning to release.
Here is an example of how you apply the Ws. “Italians shine in Olympic field events, Tokyo Japan, Aug 2021”.
Apply the Ws for an authentic article that will pass the editor’s evaluation. They qualify you to be a professional press release writer.
3. Give instructions necessary for the release
Indicate the time and date you wish your story to be covered. Write them on the top right of the page in capital letters.
You may want your press release to be distributed immediately. Use the words FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE or RELEASE IMMEDIATELY.
At times you may want them to delay for some time. Then write EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL (Indicate the date and time it should be released.)
4. Design the point of your story
What type of audience are you targeting in your story? Write a captivating story that will capture the interest of diverse readers. Captivating news should meet the following:
- Value: assess what your readers value most. Write about the topic that concerns them. It could be business, children’s welfare, gender, or local leadership.
- Interest: your article will hit many readers if it is in line with what the audience likes. Target their hobbies so that your story can attract many readers.
- Routines: people usually adapt to specific habits. Some like annual or monthly budget or shopping patterns such as daily, weekly, or monthly.
- Location: where your targeted audience lives determine the type of story. City dwellers differ from the countryside. You may also categorize them according to regions or country
5. Write an intriguing headline
It should catch the eye of your reader instantly. Write a striking headline and place it at the top Centre of your press release.
Use a 14-size font and 65-80 characters for the headline. Consider the following key points to achieve a captivating title:
- Get a trending event – Look for the trending news and anchor your press release on it. For example, if you are writing an advert or a campaign article for an organization, tag it on Corona pandemic news. It will easily attract attention because the pandemic is trending worldwide.
- Write an action-driven headline – Write your headline in a way that will encourage your readers to take action after reading the story. Make it convincing and possible. Convince them emotionally by citing the success of another but related story.
- Apply SEO – Use keywords throughout the text to ensure that it is visible on an online search. You can use keywords within the first 3 words. Make sure they appear in the headline and across the entire text.
Keywords will enhance the quality of your press release and become more likable to journalists and readers. Journalists or readers can use them to discover more through search engines.
- Add useful statistics – Use accurate figures in your headline to add credit to your press release. They attract journalists who may use the statistics as they describe your companies’ services.
You can state the number of sales for a certain product and the price for each. Give the percentages of growth for a specific number of years. Get actual statistics from a reliable source.
6. Draft an intriguing leading paragraph for your press release
The introductory paragraph portrays the main information of the story. Start with the date and place of origin of your content.
Write a short but exciting lead paragraph. It should have a summary of the main points of your press release.
Your opening paragraph should answer the five Ws discussed earlier in this article. Make it quite engaging and informative. A compelling lead paragraph can attract other media agencies to look for you for more stories.
A good lead paragraph has the following components:
- Date of publication – When do you want your story to be published? Indicate the date when you wish your story to be aired. Media agencies select articles according to publishing dates indicated by the journalists.
- The place of origin of your story – State the town or city where you got the information. Some readers get interested in reading an article based on the locational setting.
- Answer the who, what, where, when, and why – The opening paragraph gives your readers a lead to what they expect in the entire article. It should, however, be short so that you do not exhaust everything at the beginning.
Briefly mention the essential information in this paragraph.
Preferably, structure your points from the most important down to the least. Many journalists use this format when writing a press release. It is called an inverted triangle.
Give valuable hints that will trigger the interest of your readers to read the entire story.
7. How to write ap style press release body paragraph
Like in all article writing, your press release has an introduction, body, and conclusion. Write body paragraphs to support what you mentioned in the lead paragraph. You need about 2-3 paragraphs.
In the body, provide background information on the content you are writing about. For example, you can describe what the company does.
Add value to your press release by inserting a photo or a video. However, take precautions not to have too much different content. It will create congestion and hinder readability.
Support your content further by citing famous quotes that relate to your article. State the title of the person you have quoted and the company or organization they work for. Your AP-style press release earns more credibility when you add credible quotes.
Avoid long quotes that are more than two sentences. Remain brief, clear, and focused on the target of your AP press release.
8. Call to action
A press release is another way of advertising your business. Sum up your article with a keynote.
Direct your readers to act. Insert a short call to action (CTA).
You may offer them a free trial or give them a link to your social media platforms. Creatively design a request form that will provoke them to act on your press release.
9. Provide contact information
Write the full name of your company. Give contact details such as an address, phone number, and email.
The news agencies will easily consult in case of any issue concerning the press release. Place the company logo at the top center.
10. Give your boilerplate
This refers to the background information found at the bottom of your press release. In this section, give information about your company. State any recognition like an award.
You can state the number of years it has been in operation. The endnote is usually one sentence that states as, ‘For more information call or email (provide the phone number or email address)
Finally, put in an indicator that you have come to the end of the story. It is commonly known as an endnote. The most commonly used are three hashtags (###)
11. Edit your statement
Your AP-style press release is almost ready for distribution. Check language use like word concise, punctuation, and grammar. Correct mistakes, if any. Ensure that you have applied the ap style recommended spacing.
Lastly, check the layout on the margins. All sides should be an inch.
12. Share your AP style press release
The engaging task of writing an AP-style press release ends when you finish writing it. You will accomplish the project only after distributing your press release to journalists for news coverage.
You can distribute your ap style press release in many ways, as outlined below:
- Press release distribution services – You can distribute your press release to paid agencies or those that offer free services. They include Onlineprnews, 1888pressrelease, Newswiretoday, and Erelease.
- Direct outreach – This is possible if you have contacts of many journalists on your contact list. Select media contacts and send your press release. It is best if you have established connections with many journalists.
- Post on your organization’s website – You can create a page and then add all your press releases. A website will enable many viewers to read your press release.
- Use social media platform – You can share your press release with your fans and followers. Post a link from your website to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Your press release will spread further when your fans and followers like and share it with their contacts.
A press release is important for a company’s growth. It will reach a wider audience and improve its public relations. Media agencies will easily pick a properly written AP-style press release for publishing. Get your press release written in ap style format for a breakthrough in your business.
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