In a world where the collective conversation changes on a dime, letters to the editor (LTE) remain an effective mode for lending your voice to the discussion. Whether you are responding to an article you read in the newspaper, legislation weaving its way through the state capitol, or an issue you feel passionate about, an LTE can get your opinion in front of the public and policymakers alike.

Usually high-level and to the point, LTEs are an effective tool in the belt for any advocate or concerned citizen.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when writing one:

Respond to an Article

Newspapers receive scores of LTEs everyday. To best position your LTE for publication respond to an article or op-ed the paper recently ran. Cite the articles date, author, and premise, then take a position, whether pro, con, neutral or offer an entirely different perspective.

Share your Experience

Everyone has opinions, but to make yours standout it’s important to relate a tangible lived experience or expertise you bring to the table. As editors wade through a sea of LTEs, writers who demonstrate measured qualifications are more likely to have their piece published.

Reference Policymakers and Corporations

LTEs offer the public an opportunity to weigh in on a public policy debate or offer an opinion on corporate behavior. Legislators and corporate public affairs teams monitor LTEs for any mentions made, so make sure you reference them to get your voice heard.

From larger papers like the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press to local papers like the Red Wing Republican Eagle and St. Cloud Times, LTEs remain an effective way for the public to connect with one another and add to important policy and community conversations.