Why AP Style is Important For Press Releases
Before we can really get into why the AP (Associated Press) Style is important for press releases, it’s a good idea to cover what AP Style is. The AP styleguide has set regulations for publications to follow. They aren’t the only editing guide (CMS for book publishers, APA for science publications, etc.). The AP styleguide is mostly put into practice by the press, journalism schools, many PR companies, corporate marketing divisions and publishers. When pitching a news story, it’s critical to present topical and newsworthy information that is consistent, has good grammar and speaks the same language editors use.
The press has standards for writing and submitting releases, including setting an objective in the intro, covering the five Ws (who, what, where, when, and why), checking spacing (one space after a period), and no oxford comma. There are other, more nitpicky things, like using full names and titles only when introducing someone, following certain rules for numbers and addresses and even whether or not to use a period when abbreviating junior (hint: abbreviate only with full names of persons and do not precede by a comma: Martin Luther King Jr.).
This may all seem a little trivial, but it’s important to use AP Style in press releases. Who cares? Editors care. If you use AP Style, it means that they don’t have to review your press release and reformat most of its content to meet AP standards (style guides are there for a reason: consistency). If you want your press releases to be published or posted, you should be following AP Style whether you love the oxford comma or not.