Why are letters to the editor important and how to write one.
If you have joined the Eastern Regions chats, you have heard Katey and I recommend writing letters to the editor – LTE. LTEs are an effective outreach tool that can reach more people than just your inner circle of family and friends. This tool can be used to praise or criticize an elected official or raise awareness on issues that you don’t see being covered by the news. When they are covered, the letters are published in the front of the publication with a high likelihood of being seen.
I know the idea of putting your thoughts and feelings out there can be daunting. I always get nervous when I am working on articles for you! Don’t panic. I have done some research for you. The University of Kansas has a community toolbox, which gives great insight to be an advocate. I really enjoyed their chapter on writing LTEs and have come up with the top five tips for writing an effective one.
- Grab the reader’s attention in the first paragraph. Make sure the issue/topic is stated in the first paragraph.
- Be quick, concise, and quiet throughout your letter. View your LTE as an elevator speech – you only have so much time until the reader moves on. So, keep it brief.
- Explain why this issue is important to you by making it personal
- Give evidence to support your argument especially when praising or criticizing. Also, give a solution to the issue if one can be done.
- Give contact information so the editor can contact you if they have questions.
I hope this helps you feel more at ease for writing an LTE. I am always here to help and would love to help proofread them. As a member of “You’re the Cure,” we love to know if you are sending them in so we can be on the lookout for them, and give you credit for it!