The voices of health professionals is critical in ensuring that our health care system provides quality care and access to all patients. Make sure your voice is heard in your community!
Learn how to:
A letter to the editor is a concise opinion generally written in response to a current issue or published article. The editorial and opinion pages of a newspaper are the most read portion of the paper. Your letter can make a huge impact.
What should be in your letter?
- Try to comment on a specific story in the paper. Also, if a publication receives multiple letters on the same subject, the editor will choose one that says something in a new way or takes a unique angle.
- Be clear and concise. Most papers want letters of 250 words or less, usually less.
- State your point early in the letter and support it with facts.
How should you send your letter?
- Use our letter to the editor tool to find local papers and submit to them!
After your letter is sent....
If your letter is published, get a print version of the letter with the front-page banner of the paper‘s name and the date for your records. Also, be sure to email a copy of the printed letter to email@example.com.
Start with the basics; make sure your posts include your “vital stats.” State who you are, where you are and what you're doing there.
Provide links where appropriate. If you mention a newspaper article, blog, or website, provide a link to it. You may also want to link to information that clarifies or gives background on information and opinions in your post.
Keep your posts short and sweet. Aim at keeping your posts at about 250 words.
Write in short paragraphs, not big blocks of text. It makes reading from the screen easier. Similarly, keep your sentences relatively short.
Never lose your sense of humor. People are more likely to read a blog post that is lively, engaging, and written in a conversational tone. And don’t be afraid to express an opinion.
Tell as much of the story as you can in the headline. Lots of people use an RSS or news feeder to scan blog headlines. They decide after seeing the headline to click into the post.
When you’re done, read your post out loud. And make sure you don't get stuck on complex sentence construction. If you trip on a word in the midst of reading a sentence aloud, use another word or rewrite the sentence.
Ask these questions to yourself before calling it a day:
- Is the topic clear to someone who reads only the headline?
- Does the lead paragraph tell who and what the story is about and why the reader should care about it?
- Do you bring a perspective or angle to the story that’s unique? Is the post written in your voice? Would someone who knows absolutely nothing about this topic understand this post?
Be sure to send us your blog posts and visit Doctors for America’s blog – Progress Notes – everyday!
Call-in shows are a great way to reach a large audience on our issue. Regardless of the political nature of the show, it is important for the audience to hear your view point. Here are some tips when calling into a radio show:
- Find out what the topic of the day is on the show.
- Before the show starts, find out the procedures for calling into the show.
- Contact Doctors for America for talking points at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Practice before the call.
- Make the call.
- Keep your comments to 25 seconds or less.