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A simple, easy to use Letter to the Editor toolin support of the American Jobs Act - to use to help get the word out in local newspapers and media outlets.

Use it to your heart's content - there are additional talking points if you want to further customize your letter.

Some simple pointers if this is your first Letter to the editor:

The SMWIA Letter to the Editor tool makes it simple to contact your local media outlets.  If you wish to personalize your letter some more, you can with some useful tips below.

1. Keep It Short
 Make your letter clear, concise, and focused on one point. Length requirements vary but 150 – 200 words max is a good rule of thumb.

2. Keep It Simple
 Use simple, everyday language. Avoid catch phrases and fancy terminology. Make it easy for the average reader to understand.

3. Personalize It
 Use our talking points as a spring board, but put them in your own words and personalize them with your own experiences.

4. Include Contact Info.
 Include your name, snail and email address, and the number where you can most easily be reached. This information is kept private, however, the paper must have it as they will not print a letter to the editor from anyone they have not first contacted and verified as the author.

5. Make It Exclusive
 Don’t make multiple submissions. It’s tempting to blast your letter to multiple outlets, but papers want exclusives. If you don’t hear back from a paper in a few days, then submit the same letter to another paper.

6. Rewrite and Resubmit
 If your letter gets published, notify the other outlets you’ve sent it to so the same letter isn’t published twice. (Papers get very peeved if you do this.) If you wish to get published in a second paper, recraft and rewrite a new letter on the same subject.

7. Promote Your Success
 Give your published letter extra mileage by announcing it on facebook, twitter, to organizations and blogs that support your sentiments, and of course send us an email so we can post it here.   Most importantly, send it to your representatives with a cover letter.

Originally posted to PaulVA on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Letters to the Editor.

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