Understanding Advocacy in a Community Oncology Setting
Media Relations: Letters to the Editor & Op-Eds
Of the many media relations tactics available to advocates, the most common platforms are letters to the editor and op-eds. A letter to the editor is typically written in response to a story published in a newspaper, offers a clear, opposing point of view, and is no longer than 250 words. Advocates can use letters to the editor to draw attention to planned events, a personal story, or a larger policy debate. Be sure to follow any specific submission guidelines that outlets may require and develop messages that are compelling and insightful.
An op-ed should be message-driven and clearly define the author’s point of view on a particular issue; advocates typically have between 600-750 words to leverage using the platform. The best pieces include a well-defined point of view delivered early in the piece, and the rest makes two or more points that support the thesis. Just as with letters to the editor, advocates should consult submission guidelines before drafting to increase chances of being published.