Insider Tip:
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 articles
   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:
  • Keep your words, sentences and paragraphs short.
  • Avoid acronyms, technical phrases and jargon that may confuse the reader. Avoid rhetoric and back up assertions with facts.
  • Ask someone who knows nothing about your issue to proof your article before you submit it. If it makes sense to them, it will probably make sense to the average newspaper reader.
Distributing your op-ed article
   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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