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January 27, 2008

"Tip of the Week" - The PR Value of Letters To The Editor

Hat tip to Paramjit Mahli over at Profiting With Public Relations for this important reminder about the great PR value of a Letter to the Editor that costs you nothing but can reap great rewards:

How many times have you read a newspaper article about a topic  that is your area of interest and legal expertise —and felt disheartened and disappointed that you were not the person who was being quoted? How could you be quoted, the reporter doesn't know who you are and what you do.

Here’s what you do:

Write a letter to the editor referencing the article and the date it was published. 
In the body of the letter, you have several options you can:

(1) Present a different view point.

(2) Agree with original letter writer's viewpoint and expand on the issue (no longer than a few paragraphs).

(3) Showcase your expertise by introducing  a little-known fact or issue related to the subject of interest to the public.

It is important to note that letters to the editor are published in the editorial section – a respected section of the newspaper. Simply put, by being included in the Op Ed pages, your letter—are accorded a great measure of credibility and credability.

Finally, don't forget it is critical to write these letters, concisely and succinctly. You have only a couple of short paragraphs to convey your opinions and thoughts.

So, start writing!


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What's killing me about [Read More]



Arrgh. You're killing me. Is there no place that can remain free from self-promotion and simply add to the collective wisdom. Must letters to the editor be reduced to cynicism and opportunism too?

If someone has something of substance to add, that's great. But if they are writing just to promote themselves, they foul the waters of ideas. Please leave me some place where actual content prevails over self-aggrandizement.

Ronald L. Burdge

Well, SHG is right of course. But the trick is not to promote oneself in the editorial letter. You are expressing your professional viewpoint, adding some new and interesting angle to the discussion, etc, but you are NOT promoting yourself. Any decent editor will spot a self-promotion attempt and that letter will never see print. If you can't add something interesting, save it for a time you can. You sure don't want readers to look at it and think you're wasting their time with useless comment or brazen self-promotion.

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