Letters to the Editor -- Speak Directly to Your AudienceBy: Andy Marken
The letter to the editor section of a publication is one of the most interesting news opportunities for a company that is often overlooked by organizations and individuals.
Letters to the editor can be a key means of getting your message(s) widely read and reinforce your firm's and products/services position. Many people don't realize that this section is among the most widely read in any publication.
While the letters to the editor section is usually brief, there are several benefits of getting a letter published. For example, letters to the editor can often provide editorial opportunities that are unavailable in other sections of the publication.
With more than 2,000 daily newspapers and more than 1,000 horizontal and vertical business and market publications there are a tremendous number of opportunities for a positive story.
Letters to the editor often react to negative editorials, unbalanced stories or unfavorable letters. Increasingly publications are running letters when management has positive news or a unique perspective to share. In addition, publications also print letters that complement certain stories or opinion pieces giving you an opportunity to reinforce a point made regarding your company and/or your products.
Another benefit of a letter to the editor is that it can be used to communicate a small, yet significant point about company or product news that would not otherwise warrant coverage by the publication. Letters to the editor rapidly become dated so they are usually published soon after they are received -- in the next issue or two. The amount of time required to draft a good letter to the editor makes it an inexpensive communications tactic.
Letters to the editor are written to a publication's editor about a pertinent subject. Open to anyone, this line of communication provides executives with an opportunity to directly communicate with both the publication's editorial staff and its readers. Publications value these letters because they provide valuable, direct and immediate feedback from readers. They are also valued because they often stimulate further reader involvement.
While letters to the editor are straightforward, maximize their impact and increase the chances of being published by following certain guidelines:
Finally make certain you sign the letter including your title and company name.
Letters to the can reach a very large audience. They cost very little to implement, are easy to use and much more effective than a brief mention regarding the company and/or your products. Tactically, and strategically, letters to the editor can be a successful part of your firm's communications campaign to raise the level of consciousness level of your company, your products, your services and your position in the business and local community.
© Copyright 1999, G.A.Marken, Marken Communications
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