In October, Unitarian Universalists (UUs) across the nation Published for Peace as part of our Action of the Month campaign. Our goal was to get one letter-to-the-editor (LTE) or op-ed published in each UU district (learn more about the 19 districts). We called for President Bush to refrain from launching another war and for the next administration to adopt a foreign policy based on multilateral diplomatic engagement. Even though the Publish for Peace campaign is over, you can still write a letter or op-ed on Iran.
Many UUs write letters as a spiritual discipline; as an opportunity to persuasively articulate how your faith informs your actions in the world. You will find all the resources you need to successfully write a LTE or an op-ed below. Some general things to keep in mind are:
- If you submit your piece to a local paper, rather than a national one, and follow their instructions closely, then you will have a much greater chance of getting published;
- You do not have to be an expert to write a letter, papers are looking for concerned citizens with strong opinions;
- Identify yourself as a Unitarian Universalist minister, social justice committee member, or church member;
- Once you are published cut out your piece and send it to key decision makers; and
- Let us know if you participate by emailing your completed letter (published or not) to international [at] uua [dot] org.
For more useful tips, read the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA's) guide to writing LTEs and op-eds.
Sample Letter-to-the-Editor (PDF)
By Adam Gerhardstein, Acting Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association Washington Office for Advocacy
Finding a Hook for Your LTE or Op-ed
Keep an eye on the headlines of your paper. If you see a story about diplomacy and Iran, or if Iran is mentioned in another story about the elections, Iraq, etc., respond to that specific story. Mention the headline and date. Cite the specific reference and sum it up in a sentence to refresh readers’ memories. Then point out facts that were left out, or refute or support facts that were stated.
For a comprehensive guide to building a relationship between your congregation and the media, download Sharing the Good News: a Public Relations Manual for Congregations (PDF, 121 pages).