To get to know an editor and his views on children's issues, invite him/her to speak at a function. The editor will have to get up to speed on your program and organization in order to address the group. Plus, you can ask about his/her experiences with child care or education. You will learn a lot about his/her opinions.
Op-ed pieces or guest editorials are printed on the editorial page and represent the views of an individual or organization, usually someone who is considered an "expert" on the topic or issue they are addressing. Typically, guest editorials range from 500 to 800 words. If well thought-out and well-written, they can have a major impact on policy makers, journalists and the general public.
Writing an editorial may be easier than you think. Ask yourself why the public should support your issue. Consider using the information and statistics you have at your disposal, both locally and from state and national reports. Your goal is to educate and persuade. Be clear, concise and to the point. Avoid overly emotional or sentimental appeals.
Here are some tips for writing your guest editorial:
Most newspapers have an op-ed page editor who decides which editorials get published. You may not get published on your first try. Be persistent. It is also a good idea to send your article to the reporter who covers children's issues as well. It may prompt them to write a related article. If your editorial piece is printed, make copies and distribute them to policy makers. Share your work with colleagues in other areas; it will help encourage them to submit their own guest columns or letters.
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