With information which you know is topical from the CRIPE Messages, or the newsletter, members are encouraged to write a letter to your local newspaper. You could also target any newspaper which carries a relevant story, even if it is a national newspaper – or even a national magazine.
Letters which are printed keep the issue alive. The opposition fears public knowledge; it prefers to bury the issue in the hopes that it will die out. So to keep the issue alive is of utmost importance, but timing is also crucial. When one times the submission of a letter to the editor to link with another letter, or a news item, there is a greater chance that it will be printed.
1. Be prompt. When responding to a news item or letter, do it right away. Old news is no news and editors may not consider yours if it is not timely. The quickest response is by e-mail. Unless you are responding to a weekly paper, a mailed letter will be received too late for printing..
2. Reference your letter to the newspaper article or letter to which you are reacting, by title and date. A reference to the page number may also be helpful..
3. Stay on topic and get to the point quickly. Newspapers have limits on length, so make your letter short and to the point. Added length is only appropriate if you have a compelling personal story to tell, but still keep it as short as possible.
4. Provide your contact information; phone number and complete address. Some newspapers phone for verification of the author.