Any PR worth their salt will be looking at any and every way they can secure good coverage in the right publication for their clients. They’ll know a number of different routes in, and they’ll always be looking for new and creative approaches to securing coverage.
PRs also understand that the way into these right publications will be different depending on several factors from the type of publication itself, and the relationship built between publication and client, to the strength of the story and the existing profile of the client.
One way to secure coverage in big and wide-reaching publications which is often overlooked is through response articles and letters to the editor. We’ll come back to response articles in a later blog, but today let’s talk about why letters to the editor are a great way to secure some excellent coverage, and how you can write an editor letter that stands out.
Why editor letters are a great way in
There are a number of reasons editor letters are a fantastic form of coverage and can be considered a great way to get into a publication.
Amplify your expertise
First of all, editor letters serve to amplify your expertise. Submitting a letter to the editor allows you to showcase your knowledge and expertise in a specific field. When responding to an article, you can provide additional information, offer alternative perspectives, or even try to provide solutions to the issues raised. By sharing your insights, you demonstrate to both the publication’s editorial team and its readers that you possess a deep understanding of the subject matter.
Involve yourself in industry discussions
Letters to the editor provide a unique opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussions with other industry professionals. When your letter is published, it opens the door to a wider conversation. Readers and other experts may respond to your letter, offering alternative perspectives or expanding upon the ideas you presented. Engaging in these discussions not only expands your own understanding but also enables you to forge connections with like-minded individuals who share your passions and experiences.
To expand on that, the letters to the editor section is a networking goldmine. When your letter is published, you gain visibility among readers who may be interested in your point of view and offering. This exposure can lead to new opportunities. By actively participating in the discussion that follows your letter, you have the chance to connect with other professionals.
Enhance your reputation
By expressing your views on important issues using an existing publication platform, you can contribute to the public discourse and potentially sway opinions. Your insights may reach decision-makers, journalists, or influential individuals who have the ability to effect change.
Writing a standout letter
If you want to get your letter featured, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. Here are some simple but crucial tips for writing a great letter to the editor.
Read the publication
This might sound ridiculously obvious, but you’d be surprised. Make sure you’ve read the publication – including letters to the editor – and ensure this shows in your letter. Highlight elements of other articles that you read and use that to form the basis of your letter. Respond to an argument or question already posed.
Keep your letter short and sweet. Editors receive numerous submissions, so it’s important to make yours clear and focused. Stick to one main idea or argument and support it with relevant facts or examples.
Use a strong opening
Consider starting with a compelling anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a nice stat. The opening should be concise but engaging.
Support your arguments with evidence
Back up your claims with evidence or examples to strengthen your argument. This could include citing sources, referring to relevant studies or research, or sharing personal experiences. Providing evidence helps to establish your credibility and makes your letter more persuasive.
Be respectful and professional
A given (you’d hope).
Check for accuracy and clarity
Before submitting your letter, carefully proofread it to ensure accuracy and clarity. Check for spelling and grammar errors, and make sure your sentences are clear and coherent. You can find our top tips for spotting typos here.
Submitting a letter to the editor is a powerful tool for engagement, expertise recognition, and networking. So, next time you find yourself moved by an article, seize the opportunity to share your thoughts with the wider world through a letter to the editor. And use these tips to maximise its effectiveness. You never know where it may lead you.