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CONTACT: Sandra Beckwith, 585-377-2768
Nine tips for writing op-eds that get published
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – November 16, 2006 – Op-eds – essays that appear opposite the editorial pages of newspapers – are powerful communications tools for nonprofit organizations working to influence public policy or initiate change. But one communicator says that too many local nonprofits miss some of their best opportunities to inform readers through these opinionated essays.
"National headline news stories give nonprofits the hook their opinion pieces need to catch an editorial page editor’s attention, but nonprofits don’t always take advantage of this because they can’t react quickly enough to write and place an essay when it’s still timely," says Sandra Beckwith, author of the new book, Publicity for Nonprofits: Generating Media Exposure That Leads to Awareness, Growth, and Contributions (Kaplan Publishing).
Beckwith recommends having at least one op-ed written in advance to use when a news event brings the op-ed’s topic to the public’s attention. She cites recent headlines as examples: Britney Spears’s separation from her husband created the news peg for pro-family organizations while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation provided a hook for anti-war groups.
Beckwith’s book offers these tips for writing effective op-eds you can update according to the news story for immediate publication:
"With this approach, when your issue is suddenly making headlines, you can write an introduction that connects the news to your essay and e-mail it to the editor quickly," adds Beckwith.
Publicity for Nonprofits: Generating Media Exposure that Leads to Awareness, Growth, and Contributions ($23.95, 256 pages) is available at neighborhood and online booksellers or by calling 800-245-BOOK. For more information, go to www.sandrabeckwith.com/publicitybooks.htm.
See www.sandrabeckwith.com for more information.