How to Format a Press Release Dateline in Different Styles

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press release dateline

There are 33.2 million small businesses in America, and all of them must have an accurate press release dateline. Otherwise, you’ll face endless rejections from news outlets as you didn’t follow the correct press release format. But what is a press release dateline?

This section on the page highlights where and when the title is released. It’s essential for publishers and media companies as it provides them with a precise date. Even though there are different types of press releases, the formatting is generally the same. So, it’s vital that you learn how to present these details clearly.

This article will give you several tips to help you understand how to write a press release and dateline.

Why Is the Dateline Important?

A press release dateline is important for validating a story or book. It indicates when a text was written and where. So, the place of origin is included in this section of the page.

Unlike a publication date, a dateline is different and represents when the story or book was written during the process. Separating both of these facts can be confusing, but your press release needs the dateline to be accurate for it to be professional.

Here are the other essential components of an effective press release:

  • Convincing header
  • Book description
  • Author bio
  • Contact information
  • CTA

There are two distinct methods for writing a dateline. Both are valid, but one is more common and easier to follow.

Different Press Release Dateline Styles

Typically, press release tips suggest using the AP style for the dateline. But another option has existed for many years before this format was created. The newspaper style was commonly used when the media outlets worked primarily with newspapers and radio.

A newspaper dateline style is when you write when and where the story or book occurred. Always put the location first, followed by the day. This style is uncommon, depending on where you’re sending the press release. And you need to double-check before using it to see if it’s suitable.

So, an easier option is to use the AP format.

AP Style for Datelines

AP stands for the Associated Press, and this formatting style is also found in other marketing departments. Most public relations and publishing businesses use the AP style for their work as it’s clear and creates a uniform look to the text.

This is one of the most popular ways to present the dateline, and it’s not too difficult to remember. For example, the AP style for writing a dateline is to put the city’s name in capital letters. Normally, you include the country or state in brackets after the city.

When writing a press release dateline, you must use the state abbreviation, not the zip code abbreviation.

Always use numerals for the year and abbreviate the months, such as Feb., Sept., Oct., etc…

If the dateline is recent, it’s important that you still follow the rules for dates and months. Don’t use “yesterday” or other words that are not clear. It needs to be factual and concise, which is why you need to use the AP style.

How To Write a Professional Dateline

When drafting your press release, it’s vital that you take into consideration the details like geography and time. This will influence how you write the dateline on the final copy.

The dateline looks different for offline and online press release pages. Online you need to have the date and other relevant information. Including the time zone is good for indicating where the text originated to international audiences. As online platforms connect you to broad audiences, this is essential for preventing confusion.

Standard abbreviations for time zones are as follows: ET (Eastern Time), PT (Pacific Time), and CET (Central European Time). But you should always verify your location before adding this information.

Check the Grammar

The dateline should be written without grammar errors, which means the city should be capitalized where necessary. Plus, the state or country needs to be enclosed in brackets or parentheses. AP style permits the use of brackets after the city. The choice between parenthesis and brackets is down to your preference.

Brackets are more modern and look sleek on the press release. But, parenthesis is recognizable and effective for highlighting the information. So, you can mix it up with brackets or keep it traditional.

Again, think about your brand and the message you want to convey with the press release. Your font and use of brackets or parenthesis should reflect the overall tone of your brand.

It’s also possible to use a common before the date, which can make the text more coherent. Weigh up the options and try different styles to find the one that looks best in your press release.

It’s Ok To Make Updates

Sometimes, the dateline must be altered if the news announcement is postponed or there’s been a mistake with previous information. To avoid the risk of being seen as fraudulent, it’s advised that you add a “revised” word to the dateline. This way, people know that the original information was not incorrect but has been edited.

Transparency is crucial for building a trustworthy brand and writing an inspiring press release. So, don’t be afraid to add “revised” if you have to update the dateline.

Even though you can lose money by printing incorrect press releases, printing a new batch or sending out updated datelines is better for maintaining credibility. This is where it’s helpful to have an extra pair of eyes looking over the information with you.

Giving your press releases or hiring a team to create them for you ensures that you don’t run into dateline mistakes like grammar issues or the wrong date. These professionals can read over the other details, like headers and book descriptions, to check everything is there.

It can be lifesaving to have a reliable team to turn to during the writing process when you need to follow AP style guides.

Don’t Make These Press Release Mistakes

Once you’ve nailed the dateline, it’s time to edit and read over your press release. If this is your first time writing this information, you’ll need to watch out for some common mistakes. Especially when it comes to the headline.

When most of us walk into a bookshop, the first thing we see is a catchy header on the page. Then, we walk over and pick up the book. A press release works similarly; you need to give your reader a reason to keep reading.

Research press release ideas online or ask trusted colleagues for advice, but be inventive with the wording. If you feel confident using puns, do it!

As long as they are practical and convey your message, it’s good to be bold and take risks with a unique title.

Follow Format Guidelines

Following formats is not just essential for the dateline; it’s vital for the rest of the press release. You need to have an example template to refer to when writing so you don’t miss out on any details. Alternatively, create a checklist for the critical features like headline, main body, and CTA.

This allows you to monitor our progress and make edits if one section becomes too long or you don’t have any space left. Sticking to a basic template means you can allocate a word count to each paragraph. This forces you to write in short sentences and eliminate fluff from the page.

On the other hand, the details need to be relevant, and you shouldn’t be too vague. As long as the sentences are short and snappy; this will encourage people to keep reading. Another trick is to read the text out loud to check for complicated phrases or words.

Write in the Third Person

Do you notice that every news article is written in the third person?

So, your press release should be the same. Writing in the third person can be challenging at first, but it becomes easier if you practice talking as if someone else is telling your story.

The more you read in the third person, the quicker you can translate your ideas into this tone when writing. Plus, it lets you practice explaining your business to others simply. This can help you boost branding and present a clear message to customers.

Luckily, you don’t have to write your press release dateline alone. Make the most of professional press release teams and use their knowledge to upgrade your text to a professional level.

Create the Perfect Dateline With a Reliable Service

Instead of spending your time looking up AP style guides and focusing on tiny details, create the perfect press release dateline with an experienced team. To most people, a dateline is just a short sentence that does not impact your business, but it can set the wrong impression if it’s full of errors.

A press release directly represents your brand, so it needs to be high-quality and formatted correctly.

Ready to learn more about our prices for your press release? Get in contact here to talk to our team today.

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