Write a letter to the Editor
Writing a letter to the Editor of a newspaper allows you to respond to recently published articles or letters and express your view. It also lets the politicians and newspaper editors know what issues are important to the community.
The letter to the Editor section is still one of the most popular newspaper sections. For tips on writing letters to the Editor, check out pages 64 and 65 of the Public Health Advocacy Institute’s Advocacy in Action toolkit.
Some tips from the toolkit include:
- Be timely – use windows of opportunity by using current news events or articles as a hook.
- Brief letters are more likely to be published and less likely to be edited. Aim for less than 250 words.
- Have a punchy opening sentence to get readers attention.
- Familiarise yourself with the writing styles of the letters which get published in your target newspaper. The editor may have a preference which you can use to guide your approach.
- Stick to one issue and include only two or three most important points.
- Make the issue local – taking the local angle on an issue will increase the impact.
- Make sure your message is clear.
- Ask yourself: would you stop to read your letter?
- The authors name and suburb is generally included in the letter. You may be able to request it be let off if necessary.