Write a letter to the editor about Lyme disease
Writing a letter to the editor of your local or regional newspaper can be an easy and effective way to reach a large audience with your Lyme awareness message.
It can depend, of course, on which newspaper you are targeting. (It’s usually easy enough to get a letter printed in a small or midsized community newspaper. However, if your local paper is the Washington Post or the New York Times, that’s a different story.)
Letters to the editor are typically printed on the editorial page, which gets good readership. Elected officials and their staff members usually keep a close eye on media coverage in their local papers, so that’s a way to get your message before them as well.
Here’s how to do it:
Go to the paper’s website and look for instructions on how to submit a letter to the editor. (Usually listed as part of the “Opinion” section.) Often the paper wants you to use its own web form for submissions. Here’s what it says for the Sacramento Bee:
Submit your letter to the editor
The Bee welcomes letters to the editor. To have a letter considered for publication you must include your:
- Your Real Name
- Postal Address
- Daytime phone number
- Headline of the story or letter to which you’re responding
- Date the article appeared
- Page number of the article, if you read it in the paper
Please use the form below to submit your letter. There is a 150-word limit for letters to the editor.
150 words isn’t very long! Not all newspapers require it to be that short. Some will accept 200 words or more. Find out your paper’s requirements and stay within them.
Put it in your own words and say why you care about this issue. (“Five members of my family now have Lyme disease.”) Focus on only one or two points in your letter.
If your letter is published on the newspaper’s website, that’s easy to share on social media. We also suggest that you make a photocopy of the letter (including the paper’s masthead and publication date) to include with any Lyme awareness materials you may distribute to local elected officials.