Datelines in Press Releases: An Effective Guide

A press release is the most effective if written to help tell a story. Datelines in press releases provide the reader with the information to locate a press release quickly.

A well-written dateline guarantees brownie points with journalists because it provides ways to track down a story. It also gives journalists the information they need to write a complete story about products and services without reading the bulk of the release.

This piece aims to examine the concept of datelines, and the best practices for writing a datelined press release.

What Does a Dateline Mean?

A dateline in a press release is an indication of the location and date of origin for the news story. It usually appears at the beginning of the article, before the headline. It provides readers with valuable contextual information to help them better understand the content that follows.

For example, a dateline might read “Lisbon, Portugal, April 14th” which would tell us that the article was written from Lisbon on April 14th.

A dateline can also help fans of a particular sport to easily locate the news article on a specific date.

Datelines in Press Releases: Basic Structures

Simple laws apply to datelines. There are two significant ways to write a dateline based on your publishing style or the type of magazine in question.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

AP Style

Datelines are typically written using the AP format. Radio, magazine publications, marketing units, and PR organizations esteem the AP Stylebook as the supreme writing style guide.

For digital press releases written in the AP style, the only state listed in the dateline is where the event took place. Chronological and geographical details of the story’s setting are standard for AP style. Every time, the day comes after the location.

Newspaper Style

Newspapers were the only way to stay informed until laptops, desktops, and smartphones became popular. Datelines in press releases and newspapers are presented in different ways.

In some newspapers, the date is listed before and after the headline because it is a bolder way of writing the dateline.

The New York Times Style

Since the New York Times has begun to collaborate more closely with the Associated Press (AP), the Times’ writing style has become less well-known. To this day, though, it continues to adhere to its own set of regulations.

Datelines in The Times used to read “SHANGHAI, Nov. 28” until 2007. Since then, its dateline has mirrored the APs by including the location’s state and nation.

As 2017 progressed, The Grey Lady made another adjustment to the dateline. A decision was made to combine it with the byline, which identifies the article’s author (for example, “By John Momodu in Beirut, Lebanon”).


Datelines in press releases are the significant events that happened in some place on a specific date. It is the date on which the article’s dateline is set.

Many news outlets consider it a good practice to include a knowledge of the dateline in interviews, and nobody objects to it. It is also a standard in manuscript preparation.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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