Write a Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor are a valuable tool to communicate to a larger community of voters.

Editorial Policy.

  • Decide where to submit your letter. Look at the online version of Oregon Blue Book to find websites of most publications in Oregon.
  • Check publications website (or paper version) for policies and how to submit letters to the editor.  
  • Publications have specific policies about submissions such as:
    • Word limit – usually about 250 to 300 words or, if online, there may be a character limit.
    • Submission limit – Many publications will not publish submissions from the same person more than once a month.
    • Local news – Most publications give preference to letters that respond to – or relate to – local news or local people.

Key points and some helpful hints:

  • No scripted letters – Most publications want letters that reflect the voices of their readers so won’t publish scripted letters.
  • Do your homework!  Read (or scan) the targeted paper to find health related items already published and respond to those.
  • Use your own words – Tell a story from your own experience and why this is so important to you. You might want to read through letters submitted by others for ideas, but the voice should be from you and not from someone else.
  • Keep it succinct and clearly focused on one or two points. Less is more here - keep your letter clear, strong, and easy to understand.
  • Check out healthcare-now.org to learn more about the issues and keep up on current news.
  • Want to do more? Find others in your community who will submit letters.

And please submit a copy of the letter to HCAO here.