In many instances the Letters to the Editor component of a local newspaper represents the most-read section of the publication and yet it is often overlooked as an opportunity for business promotion.
Why are the letters to the editor so well read? They provide solutions to problems, take a stand and enlist support for a new concept or merely allow a reader to get something off his or her chest.
Letters to the editor are not restricted to newspapers. There are similar opportunities for you also in consumer and accounting magazines.
The advantages to your business in the form of a letter to the editor include:
- It represents an inexpensive way to reach your target market.
- It isn’t difficult to prepare a brief comment which has some relevance to your business.
- The letter is more likely to be published in a more timely manner than any press release which you prepare because it becomes dated rather quickly.
- It achieves visibility because the letters to the editor are well-read.
- You have an opportunity to promote your services as part of your commentary.
I recommend that you follow some basic rules regarding the preparation of letters to the editor:
- Be brief – the K.I.S.S. concept applies here. This is no time to be long-winded.
- Follow the publication guidelines for letters to the editor. There is no point in failing to achieve publication because your letter was too long or outside the publication’s guidelines for some other reason.
- Ensure the subject is one of interest to the readers otherwise it won’t be published.
- Avoid the hard sell – be as subtle as possible when referring to your business.
- Your point of view must appear reasonable and be based on accurate facts which if questioned will stand up to scrutiny.
- Use the same writing style that you would use for your normal business correspondence
Now is an opportune time to begin scanning your local newspaper or favorite magazine to discover any articles or remarks on which you can state your opinion in a letter to the editor which will focus attention on your business.
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