Letters to the editor are a simple, effective way to communicate your message to thousands of citizens, as well as key decision makers. Follow these simple steps and you can make a huge impact.
- Be timely. As a general rule, it’s best to reference a recent article or letter. It also helps if you can use a local example to help make your point.
- Be personal. The reader should know why and how the issue affects you, your family and your community. Try to use examples from your personal experience.
- Keep it simple. You should choose one issue or argument and stick to it.
- Keep it short. Most papers have very limited space available, so short letters are more likely to be printed. It will also ensure that your most important point isn’t cut to save room. Keep it under 200-250 words.
- Be positive where possible. Think about solutions to the problem you care about and include those in your letter.
How to get your letter printed
- Follow the rules. Most papers have guidelines to follow when submitting your letter. Follow those guidelines closely or your letter may be discarded without being read.
- Follow up. When writing to a smaller newspaper, it will often help to call the person responsible for LTEs after you mail it. If they can connect a real person with the letter, it is much more likely to get printed.
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