Proper spelling and punctuation won’t necessarily get you coverage in The New York Times, but bad spelling and incorrect spelling could keep you out of The New York Times. Make sense?

If you are going to send press releases or other items to a journalist, study the Associated Press (AP) Style Guide and learn how to use it. The more professional your press release, the better luck you’ll have getting a story picked up. Here are few quick tips to get you started:

  • Do not use a serial comma. This is the right way to use a comma when writing press releases “red, white and blue.”
  • State abbreviations are not like those of the postal service, i.e. Colo. vs. CO
  • It is Web site not website
  • Capitalize someone’s professional title only if the title appears before his or her name

This is not a complete list of style rules to follow, but it at least gives you an idea of what to look out for. We suggest you buy an AP Style Guide at the bookstore or sign up for an online subscription.

Sara Lancaster

About Sara Lancaster

Sara is The Condiment Marketing Co.’s founder and creative director. She oversees client relationships, strategic marketing plans, as well as a bit of copywriting and social media management.