Subscribe or unsubscribe
1212 Alberca Rd
Sonoma, CA 95476
EASY PUBLICITY: The Letter To the Editor
I love letters to the editor. So do newspaper editors. The letters give them clues as to what their readers care about. Plus, research indicates the letters to the editor page is often one of the most popular sections of a newspaper.
Why Write a Letter
A letter to the editor can be a great way to demonstrate your expertise. It's much easier to write than a news release. While letters to the editor should be timely, the standards of newsworthiness used by journalists to evaluate news releases don't apply to letters.
When to Write a Letter
The most likely letters to be published are those that respond to a recent item in the news or comment on a current issue. Newspapers also encourage letters that dispute their editorial positions or take issue with opinions of other letter writers. Some examples:
- a CPA responding to an article about new tax laws
- a pharmacist writing about his/her experience with the Medicare drug benefit
- a dance instructor responding to a school controversy about the latest dance craze
- a downtown shop owner commenting on the town council's plan to revitalize the downtown
- a therapist writing suggestions for how families can manage holiday stress
- a labor leader disagreeing with an editorial opposing a minimum wage increase
How to Submit a Letter
Before you start to write, read the letters to the editor guidelines of the paper you want to submit a letter to. Some have very strict rules and will reject your letter if you don't follow them. Most have maximum length rules. 200 to 250 words are common maximums. E-mail has become the method most newspapers prefer for receiving letters. Often letters submitted by e-mail are published more quickly than those sent by traditional mail. Again, check the newspaper's guidelines. You can usually find those on the letters page or the on newspaper's web site.