How to Write an AP Style Press Release +[Template]

Add the Date and Location

Your press release should begin at the start of the first sentence of the lead paragraph with the date that you want the release to be live and the city that the press release originated in. Many media outlets will look for this when deciding when to pick up your press release. For example, you’ll often see notations like this that lead the first paragraph of a release:

Santa Monica, Calif. (September 26, 2018) —

Be sure to bold these elements and use proper AP Style—not postal codes—for state abbreviations.

Answer the “Who, What, When, Where, and Why”

Many readers won’t make it past your first paragraph, so you want to give the most pertinent information here. You can start this paragraph by briefly answering the questions that your reader will want to know. But be sure you keep it short; you can expand on it more in the next step. Your goal is to summarize the entire press release in this paragraph.

These are the questions your first paragraph should answer:

  • Who – Who is releasing this information? (Business or organization)
  • What – What is the news the reader should know?
  • When – When is this news, change, or hire taking place?
  • Where – Where is this taking place or where can the audience learn more?
  • Why – Why is this news important?

Keep Your Language Simple

Avoid industry jargon or other words that the readers of your press release might not know or understand. It is important that your reader can completely understand what you are trying to convey.

Here is an example of the first paragraph of an AP Style press release from author Gerald Freeman, who released a new book:

7. Write the Body of the Press Release

The second paragraph of your press release will contain more of the details regarding your news. You want to include specifics. For example, if you’re opening a new location, include the location address, when it will be open, and any other compelling information in 300 to 500 words. The body of your press release is also where you can include quotes, images, and links.

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