Contact the Media
Expressing your opinion to a wider audience through the media can reach your neighbors and legislators. Congressional staff members track all media mentions that name their elected official. Need numbers to make your case? Our Interactive Data tools have national and local numbers about all aspects of the federal budget.
Writing a Letter to the Editor
- Keep your message brief, 200 words or less. Due to the limited space available, your letter should address only one issue or article.
- Make sure your message is topical. Open with specific references to an article from that paper no more than a few days old.
- Explain how the issue you are addressing affects you, or what kind of impact it has locally, nationally, or internationally.
- If possible, provide facts, quotes, and statistics, with sources. Local statistics help capture readers’ attention.
- While writing to major national papers has the ability to reach a large audience, they are harder to get published in. There are many local, regional, and/or online publications to consider submitting to.
Publishing an Op-Ed or Blog Piece
Opinion-Editorial or Blog pieces are much like writing a letter to the editor, but are substantially longer.
- Check the outlet’s submission requirements. Many places require email submission and have length restrictions.
- If possible, begin with a short story or anecdote to show the impact of your issue.
- You may want to consider having a co-signer or co-author on your piece.
- Make sure to follow up on your submission. Even if you do not get published on your first try, speaking to the staff can open the door for future opportunities.
Calling Radio Talk Shows
- Speak clearly and simply.
- Stay calm and collected. Even if the host argues with you, don’t let them get a rise out of you.