Write a Letter to the Editor, MEDIA, OR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVE
Rules for Letters to the Media
- be clear, concise and to the point
- do not be slanderous, keep to the issues
- do not make it personal
- state facts, quotes, events precisely and be prepared to back it up
- do a spell and grammar check…don’t forget
- have a FEW people proof read and make suggestions
- say it out loud to yourself
- proof read
- then rewrite and do the process over again until you are satisfied
- make copies, record what you send to and to whom
- Don’t make the letter or fax an essay! Keep it short, simple and to the point. One or two special points. Try to type the letter. Do not handwrite. Don’t tell all. Wet their appetite for more information.
- Make your letter relevant and timely. What is being talked about today. Does it relate to a recent letter to the editor, article, news event or television show? What is your target media (newspaper) publishing? How long are the letters? What are they about? Are they controversial?
- Do not generalize! Be specific and do not attack the media you want to assist you in getting your issue out there. Make the media your friend. Be prepared to backup everything you say including quotes by providing documentation.
- Actually read the newspaper, magazine, newsletter you are writing to so you are familiar with their format. They may have length and form requirements. If you are emailing your letter, phone and ask what they prefer it written in (i.e. word or works or?) Two paragraphs is enough. No more than 600-800 words (Op-eds) for a long piece. Include your groups contact info, name address, ph, email, website. Inform them that they may or may not publish contact info. You may want to write to different sections of the newspaper.
- Have others write letters as well. Have many different people write on the same issue to many media sources at the same time. If yours does not get published maybe another person’s will. Keep your clippers informed of the letter campaign so they will be on the lookout for the letters. Do a follow up to the editors if the letters do not appear.
- Send your letters CC or Bcc to news programs such as 60 Minutes, W5 or any expose or consumer program on radio or televisions.
- Also send a copy to
- firstname.lastname@example.org or any other web site interested in publishing your letter
Op-eds are longer than letters to the editor, and there is more competition for space. You may want to call the paper for length requirements (usually 600-800 words). You may want to study the newspaper or magazine to see what department would best suite your article.
Write a timely article suited to the newspaper or magazine you are submitting to. Be professional. Write a catchy professional title.
Get permission from your organization to sign as a representative of them.
Do not get personal. Stick to the issues.
Do NOT broadcast your article to many newspapers and magazines at the same time. Be patient. Be professional Submit articles to media anywhere in the world as long as it is relevant.
Write a cover letter outlying your proposed pieces. State that you have chosen their company and do not presently have the articled submitted to other media. Offer an exclusive if you wish. When and if they send a reply (follow up if they don’t) rejecting the submission then send the article to another media outlet.
Offer to supply documentation to back up your facts
Don’t be offended when an editor shortens your article or corrects grammar and spelling…well…do your spell check. Nothing turns off an publisher/editor more than an unprofessional article full of spelling and grammars mistakes.