Another tactic for reaching the public through the media is to submit Op-ed pieces or
letters to the editor. Both are used to offer a high-profile opinion or commentary on a
current situation, or a reaction to a previously published article or opinion. Signed
by the writer, they have the ability to increase the visibility of the organization if
used wisely and judiciously.
Write fast. If you’re writing in response to a recent event or to something
recently published, do it quickly. Editors are more likely to publish the first letters
to arrive than letters that come weeks later.
Cite the article
Read published letters, check guidelines
Be clear and concise -50-250 words (check the paper’s guidelines)
First sentence should be passionate then build your case
Make it short and snappy. Have a point and get to it quickly.
Make your letter newsworthy. Newspapers like to use the letters page to encourage
Be creative. Catchy, humorous, even sarcastic letters can be more effective than
dry, straightforward ones.
Include your full name (no initials), home address, email address and daytime and
evening telephone numbers. Mandy newspapers will verify authorship of letters before
Make one point and support it with facts.
Personalize-Say WHY you care about the issue
Submit it electronically
Make it timely and newsworthy
Use ingenuity and strong argument
Use Personal experience and first-person narrative when in service to a larger idea
Aim for 750 words (some are as short as 300 words)
Make one argument thoroughly, point by point
They choose the illustrations and headlines
Online Message Boards
Unlike print editions, everything gets posted on the online message boards or blogs on newspaper Web sites and