Thank you to the Pennsylvania Council of Churches for the following guide.
Writing a letter-to the-editor is one of the best ways to alert your elected officials about an issue that you care deeply about. In a letter-to-the-editor, you have the opportunity to share your opinion, educate the public about an issue, applaud someone for taking a desired action, or express disappointment when an official fails to act or acts in an undesirable manner. A well written, well timed letter to the editor can shift public opinion and influence policy.
Elected officials and their staff members carefully monitor newspapers to gauge local opinion. By mentioning your elected officials by name, and stating the specific action you would like for them to take, you can guarantee that your letter will catch their attention.
In addition to getting the attention of elected officials, letters-to-the-editor are a tremendous advocacy tool because they reach a large audience, can bring up information not addressed in a news article, and can create an impression of widespread support or opposition to an issue.
Some general comments on writing letters-to-the-editor:
Questions to ask yourself to determine content:
What is it you would most like for your readers to remember? Consider the central point you want people reading the letter to take away.