Letters to the editor (LTEs) of your local newspaper are a great way to raise the visibility of critical issues and upcoming or recent events, and educate members of your own community. They’re also important to local elected officials, who monitor them to see what issues their community members are concerned about.
You can use LTEs to raise visibility and publicly encourage a decision-maker to support the resolution in your town. Or, you can use LTEs to amplify a victory!
How to write a letter to the editor
- Find out how to submit letters to the editor to your local paper.
- Usually it’s via a simple form on the paper’s webpage or an email to the editor.
- Keep it short (150-175 words maximum).
- Make only one main point.
- Personalize it.
- For instance, mention your role as a parent or teacher, your role in your community, or simply why you care about the issue.
- LTEs more often get published when they’re responding explicitly to a previously published article in the news outlet you’re submitting to. (For instance, you could cite a recent story about your school system, McDonald’s, or junk food.)
- End your letter with a call to action (e.g., calling on your target to pass a resolution to stop McTeacher’s Nights).
- Include your name, address, email address, and phone number below the letter.
- Call the paper to confirm that they received your letter, asking when it’s likely to be printed (best done one day after you submit your letter).
- Monitor your news outlet until your letter is printed, and email a copy of it to us at Corporate Accountability: [email protected].