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Let's use this episode to teach each other and learn from each other.  Commenting here is good on one level - it keeps you engaged, and lets you keep your writing skills sharp.  But it's also important to speak up outside of this community.  I'm a big fan of writing Letters to the Editor (and have a good record of getting published).  In this case, writing to the Komen Foundation's corporate sponsors is important.

A couple of things about writing effective letters:

Shorter is better.  My letter to Ford is probably too long, but I really wanted to emphasize my long relationship to the company.  If you can get your message down to 3-4 sentences, it's much better.  This is especially true for writing Letters to the Editor, or when writing your congresscritters.

Make the point of your letter clear, and readily visible.  If you want them to do something (or stop doing something) state it clearly, preferably at the beginning or end of the piece.  Don't bury it as the third sentence in the fifth paragraph.

Make your points concisely, and don't make too many of them.  The people reading reading your letter don't have time for a three page screed.  Choose 1-3 of the strongest points in favor of your argument, state them briefly and clearly, then conclude.

I chose a corporate sponsor that I have a (literally) life-long relationship with.  The foundation has a long list of partners - find a few that you have patronized over the years, so you can truthfully make the case that they should care what you think.  Here's my letter:

I'm a Ford-owner, a shareholder, and daughter of a (retired) Ford designer.  I even grew up in a Ford home in Dearborn.  You and me, we go way back.

And today I'm asking you to rethink your sponsorship of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Their recent actions have shown that they put politics above women's health.  I think Ford's support of them is based on sincere desire to support women's health causes (a concern near and dear to the heart of half your drivers).  I hope you'll continue to support that cause - just through a more effective organization.

One thing that today's news has done is shine a light on the organization's expenditures overall, and it looks like an awful lot of their money goes toward fundraising and overhead, vs. the amount that actually goes toward helping women detect and fight breast cancer.  Better to contribute to those who are making a bigger impact on the actual problem.

Thanks.

(I love my Ford - my brother bought a Focus and an F-150 after years of driving Hondas and GMs, just because he saw how much I liked my car.)

Did you write?  Share your letter to a company, or your Letter to the Editor...

Originally posted to lineatus on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 03:02 PM PST.

Also republished by Letters to the Editor.

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