1. Keep It Short
Make your letter clear, concise, and focused on one point. Length requirements vary but 150 – 200 words max is a good rule of thumb.
2. Keep It Simple
Use simple, everyday language. Avoid catch phrases and fancy terminology. Make it easy for the average reader to understand.
3. Personalize It
Use our talking points as a spring board, but put them in your own words and personalize them with your own experiences.
4. Make A Call To Action
When appropriate, suggest that readers take action like contacting their representatives or voting for a specific candidate that best supports your position.
5. Include Contact Info.
Include your name, snail and email address, and the number where you can most easily be reached. This information is kept private, however, the paper must have it as they will not print a letter to the editor from anyone they have not first contacted and verified as the author.
6. Make It Exclusive
Don’t make multiple submissions. It’s tempting to blast your letter to multiple outlets, but papers want exclusives. If you don’t hear back from a paper in a few days, then submit the same letter to another paper.
7. Rewrite and Resubmit
If your letter gets published, notify the other outlets you’ve sent it to so the same letter isn’t published twice. (Papers get very peeved if you do this.) If you wish to get published in a second paper, recraft and rewrite a new letter on the same subject.
8. Promote Your Success
Give your published letter extra mileage by announcing it on facebook, twitter, to organizations and blogs that support your sentiments, and of course send us an email so we can post it here. Most importantly, send it to your representatives with a cover letter.