Tip: Letters To The Editor - To Gain Support

Introduction

Newspapers are read by both library users and potential library supporters, so be proactive!  Your library can shape public opinion by crafting effective, well-timed Letters to the Editor. Ideally, these should mesh with your library’s overall marketing and strategic plans.

Strategies to Consider

Basic Format:

  1. Tell who you are.
  2. Explain your relationship or your connection to the organization.
  3. Tell why you are writing.
  4. Share a “personal” story.
  5. Include a call to action.

Tips:

  1. Keep your letter concise and to the point.
  2. Use facts or figures if you have them and if they are pertinent to your letter.
  3. Stick to a single subject.
  4. Include your name/title/contact information.
  5. Proofread your letter for punctuation, spelling and grammar.
  6. Your letter should reflect the language that your elected officials are using.

Tips for Getting Published:

  1. Check with your paper to find out specific requirements on length, and where to send your letter.
  2. Link your letter to a recent news story.
  3. Make sure your information is accurate.
  4. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number and email.
  5. Share your letter with other constituents (board members, for example).

LibraryAware Tip: We know that YOU know your community. Make that knowledge work for you. Your local newspaper is a good source of ideas for topics. Time your letters so that they align with relevant local issues.

Sample Letters

See the Sample Letters to the Editor page for three samples you can customize for your library. Keep looking – there are a lot of good ideas out there on the internet. Expand your search to include issues around education, adult literacy, budgets, and economic recovery.

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