The Think Tank Initiative’s Policy Engagement and Communications (PEC) Programme is hosting a Virtual Write Shop on “Writing letters to the editor that get published” during the week of 22 September 2014.
Costantine Shirati of the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research Organization of Tanzania, has had some success in getting his letters published in the Tanzanian media. “The secret behind getting letters published is through a personal relationship with the editor,” he says. “In case you haven’t built that relationship, you could ask someone who has such relationship with the editor, if he/she can forward the letter to the editor or introduce you to the editor so that your work gets published.” Here’s an example of a Letter to the Editor from STIPRO that Costantine got published (translated from the original Kiswahili).
That’s great advice from Costantine but if you don’t have such relationships, all is not lost. Lacking a personal relationship, you need a strong, opinionated and concise letter that pushes the debate in a new direction, as opposed to droning on with the same arguments that have already been presented. All of the resources below assume no pre-existing relationships with the editor.
- WikiHow: How to write letters to the editor
- About.com: How to write a letter to the editor
- Volunteer Guide: Write a letter to the editor that inspires action
- Erudite advice from The Observer for getting a letter published in their newspaper
- How to submit a letter to The New York Times
- How to send a letter to the editor of the Washington Post
This post has been produced as part of the Think Tank Initiative’s Policy Engagement and Communications (PEC) programme. However, these are the author’s personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of TTI. You can find all ongoing outputs related to this project via the PEC mini-site on Research to Action. To get updates from the PEC programme and be part of the discussion sign-up to our RSS or email updates. You can also follow our progress via Twitter using the following hashtag #ttipec.
Image Courtesy of ohiocitizen.org