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Seeing Your Newspaper As Your Friend

Seeing Your Newspaper As Your Friend

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Seeing Your Newspaper As Your Friend

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  1. Seeing YourNewspaperAs YourFriend Minnesota School Boards Association August 16, 2008

  2. Before you write your letter • Know the letter policy • Focus on your message • Choose your battles • Get the facts; don’t guess • Let the board know what’s coming • Know how to best send it • Type it; don’t write it by hand

  3. The basics • Put on a title • Include name, address and phone number • Start strong; end strong • Keep it short • Tell a short story • Never attack; never repeat misinformation • Call to make sure the letter arrived

  4. The Op-ed piece • Have an opinion; be firm • How does this affect the reader • Use humor • Tackle an issue from an unorthodox view • Don’t guess on facts • Let the board know what’s coming

  5. Op-ed basics • Put on the title • Include name, address and phone number, along with photo • Start strong, end strong • Keep it short • Tell a story • A sixth-grade reading level

  6. The Editorial Board • Request a meeting • Gather facts; let board know in advance of issue • How long do you have • Who is speaking; what is their message • What equipment do you need • Never assume this is off the record • Review strengths and weaknesses

  7. During the meeting • Stick to the topic • Bring visuals if you talk about numbers; charts; handouts • Leave at least a third of your time for questions and answers • It’s OK to say “I don’t know.” • Don’t attack; don’t complain

  8. After the meeting • Send a thank-you • Follow up with any additional information you may have promised • Keep the relationship going • Ask if you can do anything to help their education reporter