Major news outlets publish anywhere between 200 and 500 stories every single day. That often doesn’t include wire stories, which are written and prepared outside the newsroom.

Local outlets may publish less.

Even so, the frantic pace of the 24-hour news cycle can leave even the best journalists looking for new stories. Business reporters and bloggers will often turn to press releases to find new ideas.

If that sounds like you, you might be wondering how to cite a press release properly. Students and researchers may also want to reference press releases for case studies and more.

Once you’ve picked your citation style, you can use this guide to create the perfect citation every time.

Let’s get started!

How to Cite a Press Release in APA

The American Psychological Association issues guidelines for citation in its style guide. APA is popular in fields like psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

So, what does an APA press release citation look like? It’s like other APA citations. You’ll list press releases by author or organization name.

Include the year, followed by the month and day if available, in parentheses.

You’ll then add the title of the press release. Remember to italicize it, and only capitalize the first word and proper nouns in the title.

After the title, you’ll add the words “Press release” in square brackets, followed by a period. It helps the reader identify the type of document you’re referring to.

Since most press releases are available online, best practices are to list the URL. You’ll add the words “Retrieved from,” then the URL.

Here’s an example:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, June 25). HHS announces new organ transplant guidance [Press release]. Retrieved from

In your text, you’d cite this as (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020).

How to Cite a Press Release in MLA

APA isn’t the only style guide out there. The Modern Languages Association, or MLA, also has their own style guide. This format is popular in the humanities.

MLA citations look quite a bit different than APA, but they use most of the same information. Like APA, you’ll start with the name of the author or organization that issued the press release.

Next, you’ll include the title of the press release. Don’t forget your opening and closing quotation marks.

Then you’ll include the name of the organization, followed by “Press Release.”

You’ll then add the date. MLA uses European-style dating and short forms, so make sure you style your date correctly.

You can then add the URL of the website where you access the press release. Include an access date for the website.

Here’s what it looks like all together:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “HHS Announces New Organ Transplant Guidance.” CDC Press Release, 25 Jun. 2020. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

Note that you can use an abbreviation for the agency name in the press release information. If you want to make an in-text citation, you’ll add the name of the author or organization in parentheses.

How to Cite a Press Release in Chicago Style

Citing a press release in Chicago Manual of Style format is similar to APA press release format. It does depend on if you’re using Chicago I or Chicago II.

Chicago II is an author-date format, like APA, so it makes sense to start here. There are a few key differences between Chicago II and APA citations.

First, Chicago doesn’t enclose dates in parentheses. It also uses quotation marks around titles, and it capitalizes most words in titles. If you’re not sure about capitalization, you can always check CMoS itself or use an online tool to help you.

Once again, you’ll add the URL for the press release to the end of the reference entry. Here’s the CDC example in Chicago author-date format:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. “HHS Announces New Organ Transplant Guidance.” CDC, June 25, 2020.

Note that the date is repeated after the title. If you’re using Chicago I, your bibliography entry will look the same as this, with one exception. Remove the first date.

A footnote or endnote builds on the basic style here, but with key changes to punctuation. Most of the periods will change into commas. Here’s what the CDC example looks like as a Chicago-style note:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “HHS Announces New Organ Transplant Guidance,” June 25, 2020,

If you’re using the author-date system, your in-text citations will look a lot like APA. This one would appear as (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2020).

Other Styles

APA, Chicago, and MLA are the most common citation styles for students and researchers. Some disciplines have their own citation guidelines, though.

You should always check what style is expected of you:

Some other common styles include:

  • IEEE
  • American Medical Association (AMA)
  • Vancouver
  • American Anthropological Association (AAA)
  • American Political Science Association (APSA)
  • Turabian

Many styles build on Chicago, including AAA and Turabian. If you’re not sure what style is most appropriate, think about the field you’re in. IEEE is designed for engineering, while AMA is for the medical field.

Journalists may want to refer to resources like the Associated Press, which has its own style guide. While the AP stylebook doesn’t have its own citation guidelines, it may offer best practices for when to cite.

There are other style guides for other disciplines. Individual countries may have their own best practices for journalism, and each news outlet may have their own house style as well. If you’re not sure, the best thing to do is ask.

How to Determine the Authorship for Press Releases

Determining the authorship of press releases can be a crucial aspect of understanding the source and credibility of the information presented. Here are several key methods to identify or infer the authorship of press releases:

  1. Check the Official Source: The easiest way to determine authorship is to look at where the press release was published. Official company websites, government agency sites, and accredited organizations are primary sources for press releases. These sites often clearly state the authorship.
  2. Look for Author Bylines: Some press releases will include an author byline at the top or bottom of the document. This byline typically includes the name of the person or the department responsible for the release.
  3. Contact Information: At the end of most press releases, there’s usually a section for contact information. This can include the name, phone number, and email address of the person or department responsible for the release.
  4. Style and Content Analysis: If the authorship isn’t explicitly stated, analyzing the style and content can offer clues. Familiarity with previous releases from the same source can help in identifying consistent patterns in language, tone, and formatting.
  5. Inquire Directly: If in doubt, directly contacting the organization or company that issued the press release can provide definitive answers. This can be done via email, phone, or official social media channels.
  6. Use of Metadata: In some digital formats, metadata within the document can contain information about the author, the organization, or the software used to create the document.
  7. Public Relations (PR) Agencies: Sometimes, press releases are written by PR agencies on behalf of a client. Identifying the PR agency involved can lead to understanding the indirect authorship.
  8. Contextual Clues: The context in which the press release is issued, such as a recent event or a response to a situation, can sometimes hint at who might be the author, especially in cases of government or corporate communications.
  9. Press Release Distribution Services: If the release was distributed through a service, these platforms sometimes include authorship information.
  10. Legal Disclaimers and Copyright Statements: These sections, often found at the end of a press release, can provide clues about the authorship or the entity responsible for the content.

Remember, in some cases, the authorship might be a collective effort from a department or team rather than an individual.

Cite Your Sources in Style

Now you know how to cite a press release in three of the most common citation styles. Many other styles are based on APA, Chicago, or MLA.

You’ll be ready to cite your sources in proper style.

Read more: How to Create a Press Kit