Letters to the Editor

Why We Need Letters to the Editor (LTEs)

Letters to the editor play a critical role in keeping climate change in the media agenda, and raising awareness of ongoing (and under-reported) campaigns. With just 50-200 words, we can reach and influence thousands of local citizens.

Media outlets want to hear from community members, not just experts or corporate interests. You will make a difference by writing to local news outlets.

Letter Writing Tips and Considerations:

  • Keep it brief: Typical letters range from 50-250 words. Be brief and use active first-person language focused on the most important part of your message. Start the letter with “To the editor.”
  • Get to the point: Start with a compelling sentence making a concise claim about the issue you’re writing about.
  • Make your case: Follow the introduction with short, clear points about what is most important to you. This can include data or anecdotal experience, but prioritize real-life examples.
  • Messaging: It’s most effective to stick to one primary message per letter.
  • Make it local, and personal: Tell personal stories about own experiences or those of your neighbors. Is this issue affecting you, where you live, work or recreate? Say so.
  • End with a call to action: “Get involved with a local climate organization like 350PDX” or “Submit a public comment before Feb 3”.
  • Identify yourself: Include a closing with your name, location, and any affiliated titles/credentials.

Want feedback or help getting started?

Please contact Chris Palmer at chris@350pdx.org with any questions, to get feedback, and to let us know you’ve submitted so we can meet our goal!

See an amazing example of an LTE here. But remember, you don’t have to be this clever. Even one sentence explaining your opinion can get published. Submitting quantity can sometimes be better than quality.

Where to send letters to the editor

  • The Oregonian: Email letters of no more than 250 words to letters@oregonian.com. Must include full address and daytime phone number for verification.
  • Portland Tribune: Submit letters of no more than 200 words to the Portland Tribune via Pamplin Media Group. Writers are limited to one letter per calendar month. Must include address and daytime phone number for verification.
  • Willamette Week: Email letters of 250 words or less to mzusman@wweek.com.Must include street address and phone number for verification.
  • Portland Mercury: Email letters to lovenotes@portlandmercury.com
  • Portland Observer: Email letters to news@portlandobserver.com
  • The Skanner: Email letters to Bobbie Foster, Executive Editor, at bobbie@theskanner.com