Op-eds are one of the most powerful and persuasive tools you can use to reach your audience. Opinion pages are widely read by community leaders, elected officials, and other key decision-makers. One of Dan’s professors, Renee Hobbs once said, “the editorial page is where civic leaders go to have a discussion.”
Furthermore, the opinion page is a forum for individuals to publish their opinions. Contrary to what you might think, your local newspaper WANTS to hear from you.
That being said, opinion editors do receive a lot of submissions— sometimes thousands — in a single week. So, you want your piece to be unique.
Some tips are fairly straightforward: make sure your piece doesn’t have typos, always spell and grammar-check, and always present something thoughtful and professional. But opinion editors also look beyond these basics when considering a piece for publication that may be less obvious to the uninitiated op-ed author.
We conferred with a local opinion pages editor we have worked with over the years, and are sharing four key elements editors look for when reviewing pieces submitted by local voices, as well as links to example op-eds that embody each element.