Tips and Tricks for engaging with the media
Tips to get the best chance of being published
1. Respond quickly
Generally you’ll be responding to a current issue so it’s important to send your letter in as soon as you can. If you are responding to a specific article or letter, try to send your letter the same day or the following day.
2. Be brief
Keep it short and to the point.
3. Be specific
State your point as briefly and clearly as you can right up the front. You don’t want the main point of your letter to get lost. Focus on only one issue in a letter and write in your own words.
4. Refer to the news article or previous letter which prompted your letter
If you are writing in response to a specific article or letter, identify it by including the headline, date and page number in your letter.
5. Read other letters to the editor
This will give you an idea of the style and length of letters the editors have previously chosen.
6. Include your contact details
Include your name, address and a telephone number so the newspaper can contact you if necessary. Your name and suburb will generally be published alongside your letter. If you are concerned about your privacy, request your name and address be withheld.
Where should I send my letter to the editor?
If you are responding to a specific article, send it to the newspaper the article was published in. Otherwise, think about which newspaper is the most appropriate for your issue. If it’s a local issue, send it to your local Community Newspaper or other local paper (e.g. Subiaco Post). If it’s a state or national issue, consider The West Australian, The Sunday Times, or The Australian.
I’ve sent my letter. What can I expect?
Don’t be discouraged if your letter isn’t printed! Newspapers have limited space so not all letters can be printed. Keep trying! If accepted, letters may be edited for clarity or to make them more concise. Sometimes newspapers hold on to letters for a couple of days before printing them – so keep an eye out.
For the complete article see the Alcohol Action Station Newsletter Issue no.2 April 2011
Last updated on 25 March 2013