June 09, 2021

Please, Write a Letter to Editors

Anybody, any time, can write a letter to editors.  If it gets published  or read on the news, it will reach more people than one could reach with months of calling or door canvassing. The trick is getting it published.

The Main Tactic Is to Write a Lot

I get about one letter published for every three that I submit. The more I write, and the more targets I write to, the more it works. Here is a list of Texas publications that accept letters.

The Next Main Tactic is to Write Little

Unless you are relatively famous or noteworthy, your long letters will not be accepted. They pick the short ones so they can run more of them.  Letters that ramble, or even well-written letters that try to make more than one point, are usually doomed to the trash can. Stick to one point and try to keep it short and punchy.

It Has to be Timely

Letters that respond to articles that have already run have the best chance. Editors like to run letters that disagree with previous articles, even if they sharply disagree, because the editors like to show how unbiased they are.

But letters that agree with previous articles have an even better chance.  Editors are like anybody else in that they like to be told they are right. Read the news, read the editorials, and read the other letters for something to which you can respond. It’s worth waiting for the right time to jot down your point.

–Gene Lantz

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