Reader’s Letter (© tumsasedgars / Fotolia.com)
A reader’s letter, also known as a letter to an editor, is a letter that is sent out to a publication that highlights issues that are of concern to those who read it. Typically, these letters are meant to be published so that readers can view them and read the message that they contain. In this article, we highlight important information about reader’s letters and offer tips on how to effectively write one.
Reader’s letters are an excellent way to connect with a topic that you have a lot of passion for. They are also a tool that can be used to influence the opinion of the public. They serve as a great forum for sharing your message with a large audience. These letters are read by so many people, including those that have a lot of influence, such as officials in government, activists, as well as members of the community.
A reader’s letter can either support or expand on a topic that is already being discussed in the news, to make a point about an important piece of information that has not been presented regarding a certain topic, or to share personal opinions about a subject.
While reader’s letters can be invaluable tools, as they can help draw attention to your brand, getting them published can be tricky. If you want increase your chances of being published, your letter needs to be eye-catching, interesting, captivating, and share important information. Read on to learn some tips that can help you write an effective reader’s letter and improve your chances of having it published.
Reader’s Letter Do’s
First things first: let’s discuss what you should do when writing a reader’s letter. To make your letter as impactful as possible, keep the following considerations in mind:
- Directly respond to pertinent information, such as breaking news or some commentary that has been recently published. For example, you might want to talk about something people are likely thinking about regarding a recent news-related story, but nobody has actually come out and said. This will help to attract attention, as you will be verbalizing what other people have been thinking.
- Focus on a single important point. Instead of trying to address separate issues in a single letter, its best to stick to one point, otherwise your message could be lost or you could lose the interest of readers.
- Stick to word counts. Most publications set a limit on the number of words that they would like to see in a reader’s letter. If you go beyond that word count, the likelihood of your letter being published will be slim.
- Be direct and to the point. Avoid being wordy and writing “fluff”. Omit terms like, “I think” or “It’s abundantly clear”. These terms will into your word count and reduce your chances of being able to get your point across.
- Stick to facts that can be verified. Look into reputable sources and skip repeating “facts” that have cited by another media outlet.
- Direct people to another source where they can find more information about the topic you are discussing.
- Email letters in the body of an email; never send them as attachments.
Reader’s Letter Don’ts
It’s important to know what you should do when you are writing a reader’s letter, but it’s just as important to know what you shouldn’t do. Here’s a look at some things that you should avoid when you are composing a reader’s letter:
- Don’t be insulting. While you may have a different opinion, you don’t want to insult anyone.
- Don’t use acronyms or jargon that laypeople may not be able to understand. Write in a way that all readers will be able to understand.
- Never over-exaggerate or overstate your points. An overstatement or an over-exaggeration could make your readers suspicious and lose their interest.
- Don’t exceed word limits. If you do, your letter will likely be scraped, even if it contains a powerful message that readers’ of the publication could relate to. The media only has so much space for letters. Newspapers, for example, may not be able to fit in a letter that is excessively long. Broadcasters on TV may only have a small window of time.
- Don’t get discouraged if your first attempt isn’t a success. Make tweaks and keep trying.
Summing It Up
A reader’s letter can be a highly effective tool for communicating with important people and the public at large. Keep these tips in mind to improve your chances of getting published.