If you're someone who avidly reads his or her local newspaper, you might occasionally wish for your voice to be heard. There's no better avenue for sharing your message with the readers of the publication than through a letter to the editor. Newspapers will often receive so many letters to the editor that they're unable to run all of them, given space constraints. With the right approach, however, you'll increase your chance of having your letter published. Here are some tips for accomplishing that goal.
Talk About A Local News Issue
One of the key mandates of local newspapers is to cover the local community. This doesn't mean that national issues won't occasionally get touched upon, but you should always strive to talk about a local issue when writing a letter to the editor. Pick something that other residents would want to read about, whether it's voicing a concern over a zoning change that risks affecting a local nature area or shedding light on an important cause or volunteer benefiting you and your neighbors. The more local you can make your letter, the more relevance it will have to the newspaper's readers and thus the greater the chance that it will be published.
Proofread It Thoroughly
It might seem obvious to proofread your words before submitting them, but you can rest assured that newspapers routinely receive poorly written letters to the editor. This leads to a time-consuming problem for the editorial staff. The letter can't be run as-is, given the errors, but the staff might also be leery about making changes to the letter out of fear of changing its content. This can result in the letter failing to be published. When you're done writing your letter, read it thoroughly a few times and consider sharing it with a friend who can check it for errors.
Provide Multiple Contact Methods
The editorial staff will typically want to contact letter writers before approving the letters for publication. Someone might wish to ask you a few questions, comment on the letter or simply confirm that you are indeed a local resident. Always sign the letter with your first and last names and include a phone number. Upon submitting the letter by email, this means that you can be contacted by email or phone, so make sure to check both on a regular basis and promptly return any emails or calls from the newspaper staff concerning your letter.
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