How to format a press release dateline with AP Style

How to format a press release dateline with AP Style

What’s Associated Press Style? To clarify, AP Style refers to the standardization and consistency of content. This allows media from all over the globe to use the same structure for news writing, grammar and abbreviations, as well as titles.

The AP style is the standard for news writing. The content is just as important as the format.

According to a USC Annenberg survey, 88% of public relation professionals and 80% marketers believe that digital storytelling is the future in communications.

Business professionals must sharpen their skills to leverage AP Style as they work to create compelling press releases.

It’s a good idea to use AP Style when writing content. This will increase the likelihood that media will be drawn to your story. Because they are most familiar with the format and wording they use, it will show your professionalism and knowledge of the information needed to create stories.

You landed here because you are interested in learning more about how to format a dateline for a press release using AP Style.

We’re here to help.

A dateline is a section in a news article or press release that shows when and where the news was reported.

It is crucial to have a proper dateline because it will be the first thing readers and journalists who are interested in your story see. They need real, current news and not something that has been out of date for weeks.

AP Style Rules

You should follow several rules. The AP Stylebook states that a dateline must contain a city name in all capital letters. In most cases, the name of the territory, state, or county where the city is located should be followed by the proper dateline.

The state is not required in all metropolitan areas. These are:


They may require a state. It is important to use the correct AP state abbreviation

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

The AP Style abbreviations may not be the same as those used in postal correspondence and they are not always consistent.

This quick list is what you can use.

Some abbreviations that are important to remember are:

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

Despite the fact that there is a US Postal Service abbreviation for eight states, they are not abbreviated in AP Style, even if they are accompanied by a city.


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

AP Style Data

Dates should be written in Arabic numerals without the st. nd. rd. or th. Ex: 2, 3, 25 not 2nd 3rd, or 25th.

When used with the year, or alone, the names of months must be capitalized. For example, January and 2022 are examples.

If a month is associated with a particular date, only use Jan. Feb., Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. and Dec.

A phrase that lists only a month or year doesn’t have to be separated with commas. If you list a date, month and year. A comma should separate the year from the date.

  • Jan. 31, 2022 (BOSTON)
  • January 7, 2022 – BOSTON
  • January 7, BOSTON

Content tends to remain visible online long after publication. It’s best to include the date so that there’s no confusion as to when the news release or story was published.

Contact us to talk with one of our PR Strategists if you want to know more about AP Style.


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