What makes an effective public comment?
When commenting on proposed Federal rule making actions, there are misconceptions that reduce the effectiveness of one’s submission. We want to help you make the greatest impact when voicing your perspectives to a Federal agency during a public comment period. Visit our manual for some helpful tips and links.
How do I write a letter to the editor?
Choose your publication: Don’t hesitate to send your letter to multiple media outlets.
Grab readers’ attention. The first sentence is the most important – state your main point right away. Make it personal. Tell your story. Be specific.
Give a brief background. Don’t assume your audience is as well informed as you are about the issue. Use language that’s easy to understand.
Be concise. Stay well under word limits. The shorter your letter, the more likely it’ll be published. If you want to write a longer piece, ask the editor if you can submit an opinion feature or guest column.
Proofread and edit. Improve clarity and catch mistakes by reading your letter aloud. Ask someone else to read it too.
Sign the letter with your full name (and title, if relevant), address, e-mail, and phone number. The paper will want to verify who you are.
Make a follow up phone call to the editorial page editor one day after you submit your letter. Ask if your letter was received and make a quick pitch about why the paper should print it.