The Associated Press (AP) is one of the most trustworthy newswire services in the world. Like Reuters, the AP doesn’t publish its own reporting, but sells it to subscribing networks which use the information at their own discretion.
If you read any news article on any given day, chances are the facts came directly from the AP.
With that in mind, if you run a business or organization with newsworthy information, have you considered submitting a press release to the AP newswire? It’s one of the best ways to share information, and in this guide we’ll show you just how to do it. Read on to learn:
Conversely, there are also plenty of items the AP would not consider “newsworthy.” So make sure to take some time to ask yourself whether your announcement is something you could see yourself reading in a news article.
Examples of announcements that would not be considered “newsworthy” by the AP include:
A sales promotion
An insignificant product update
Non-C-suite new hires within a large company
How do you format a press release to submit to the AP?
When you submit a press release to the AP, there will be expectations about how that press release should appear. Failure to adhere to those expectations and your press release will likely be ignored and dismissed.
Title – Specific and interesting, and should grab a reader’s attention in as few words as possible. (e.g., “[Company X] Announces Acquisition of [Company Y], Effective [date].”)
First Paragraph – The most important information in your announcement. Get to the point about what the announcement is and keep it concise. 60 to 80 words maximum.
Second and Third Paragraph – A little more information about the announcement, within a larger context. Explain why the announcement is happening, how it came together, and who the key players are. Aim for 200 words or less.
Quote (Optional) – From a member of the leadership team, the executive board, or anyone relevant involved. Make it short and confident. (e.g., “All of us here at [Company X] are thrilled about this acquisition, which we are confident will open the doors to a new phase in our company’s continued growth and development.”)
Fourth Paragraph – A few final words about what the announcement means for the future of the company. Don’t sell. Just stick to the facts. Keep it to 80 words or less.
Boilerplate – A boilerplate contains all the basic information about your company or organization, such as what it does, its founding, and its goals. (Tip: copy-paste the “About” section from your company website here.)
Contact Info – A list of company numbers and email addresses for press inquiries. It allows journalists who want to cover you to reach out for additional information.
When you draft your press release, always write in third person and in AP style only. Keep it objective, unbiased, and devoid of hyperbole. Remember, a press release is not an ad.
What are your submission options when sending to the AP?
If you now have a completed press release, then it’s time to send it to the AP for distribution. It’s a crucial phase in the process when it finally goes into the hands of interested journalists. If it succeeds, it may lead to in-depth coverage that can put your company in the spotlight.
To begin with, you need to determine if your press release needs to go to a specific department.
In addition to the main desk, the AP has four additional departments. There is one each for “sports,” “arts and entertainment,” “business,” and “lifestyle.”
Once you’ve worked out where the press release is going, paste it into the body of an email, addressed to email@example.com. If it is, indeed, going to a specific desk, then simply include the name of the department in the email subject line.
You can also mail a physical copy of the press release to AP headquarters at: Associated Press, 450 W. 33rd St., New York, New York 10001.
Submit via press release distribution service
An alternative is to use a press release distribution service. Many distribution services have single-release packages to get your press release to the AP in the shortest time possible.
While it’s easier than sending your press release manually, it does come with a fee attached.
Below is an example of what a press release on the AP newswire looks like.
Notice the sections at the top-left, indicating this press release came from a paid distribution service—in this case, Business Wire.
Interested in more information about press release submission and distribution, check out our other resources:
How do you find out if your press release was published?
For a large company that’s a household name, press coverage isn’t hard to come by. Provided they’re interested in the announcement, most journalists will reply within a short time to let you know they plan to cover the press release.
But for a relatively unknown company, it can be a lot harder to get noticed. It’s also a lot harder to track syndication without a system in place that can report on media coverage.
If you do choose to manually send your press release to the AP, make sure you’ve attached link trackers so you will know when someone opens it or shares it. Although distribution services provide reports on how your press release is received, that also comes with a fee attached.
Conduct due diligence and do a lot of research to determine the best approach for the distribution of your press release. While sometimes it does pay to let an expert distribution service handle the legwork, other times it’s better to try and get by on your own.
How else can you generate media coverage?
As mentioned, getting your press release noticed by top-tier publications can be a challenge if your company doesn’t have a recognizable name.
That said, you may not even need coverage from major news publications. Instead, try reaching out to smaller niche publications that focus on your industry. These outlets might be thrilled to do coverage on your announcement, and your message reaches your target audience.
Wrapping up AP press release submissions
Ultimately, press releases are just a small part of what a good public relations campaign can do.
There are so many ways to get media coverage, like interviews, podcast appearances, thinkpiece bylines, and blog posts. All of these serve the same purpose, which is to get your name out there in an organic way that doesn’t feel inauthentic.
At Intelligent Relations, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide clients with smart public relations campaigns that go the extra mile and get the results they deserve.
Feel free to reach out for more information. We’re always here to help spread the word.
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