Come on, let's make some noise!
Here is some expert tips on writing a punchy and personal letter to the editor:
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
- Grab a copy of your local paper or read it online to get a feel for the letters section – how many are printed, average length, types of topics covered, tone.
MAKE IT PUNCHY
- Be considered and critical where necessary, but avoid ranting. You are trying to convince people, not shut them out.
- Keep your letter short and succinct: 150-250 words is a good guide. Less is more.
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT SOLAR OUR SCHOOLS
Focus on the positives – Solar Our Schools is great for:
- Jobs and post-COVID economy
- Saving schools money in electricity bills
- Schools being able to re-allocate money saved from power bills into more teachers or educational resources
- Millions of tonnes per year carbon emission reduction
- While some schools/states have made progress with respect to solar, Solar Our Schools calls for every school and early childhood centre to receive solar and batteries – renewable power for all, not just a few.
- You could mention that you have signed the Open Letter to the Prime Minister to Solar Our Schools and you would like other people in your community to sign the open letter too.
- Or you could mention how you've made a Pre-Budget Submission to the federal government so they will (hopefully!) include Solar Our Schools in the next budget. You care what your taxes are spent on!
MAKE IT LOCAL
Make it relevant to the readership – why should other locals care about the points you are making?
- Do schools in your area desperately need solar?
- Are classrooms too hot, and the best way to cool them would be air-conditioners powered by solar?
- Is there something else about Solar Our Schools or AP4CA that you think would interest your local Member of Parliament?
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Mention your perspective as a parent:
- What kind of world would you like to see your children grow up in?
- What do you worry about as a parent when it comes to climate change?
- What does Solar Our Schools mean to you and your family personally?
- Sign your name rather than just your school/organisation.
SUBMITTING YOUR LETTER
- The paper (or online version) will provide contact details – a general editorial email address, contact details for the editor or instructions on how to submit a ‘letter to the editor’.
- Be sure to follow any specific instructions about your letter (format/word length/content).