How to write a successful letter to the editor
Write your letter
- Use the Letter to the Editor template from the National MS Society.
- Insert your personal story and connection to MS.
- Provide a brief example of what MS is and how it affects people.
- Include your name and the name of the city in which you live.
Identify where you want to send your letter
- Look in your local newspaper or on your newspaper’s website to identify where to send your letter and in what format.
- In most cases it will be an email address or an online submission form.
Send your letter
- If possible, send your letter at least a week in advance. Each newspaper is different and will need different lead time.
- Don’t worry if your letter isn’t published until after MS Awareness Week. It’s important that we are raising awareness year round!
- Keep an eye on the newspaper or the online version to see if your letter is published.
- If the newspaper contacts you to let you know they are printing your letter, let us know! We’d love to hear your great news and see a copy of your letter.
Suggestions from volunteers who have had success:
I wrote a letter to the editor of the newspapers in the communities I have lived in over my life. I included just a bit of my history with MS, my connection to that community and the fact that it is MS Awareness Week. I pretty much followed the template but tweaked it to personalize it a bit.
Jon Englund, Sioux Falls, S.D.
I wrote my letter the week before MS Awareness Week and it was published the week after MS Awareness Week. The editor will usually need advance notice to put something in the paper. I encourage you to send it as soon as you can.
Tammy Lauer, Bismarck, N.D.
Letter to the editor template
Use this as a guideline when writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Feel free to make it your own by personalizing the letter with your story. If you have trouble finding contact information or have any other questions, contact Anna at the Upper Midwest Chapter at 612-335-7918 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To [insert editor’s name or “To the editor”]
I live in [town/neighborhood/community] and I'm one of millions of people who are committed to bringing us closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis.
MS is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and stops people from moving. I understand the effects of MS first hand; [I have MS/my wife has MS/I volunteer at the Upper Midwest Chapter, etc.].
March 11 to 17 is MS Awareness Week and there are countless ways to get involved. [I’ve joined the movement to end MS by participating in a Bike MS ride/Walk MS event, volunteering, spreading awareness about the disease, etc.]
Some simple things you can do include visiting MSsociety.org, making a donation to the National MS Society, Upper Midwest Chapter, volunteering, pledging a Walk MS or Bike MS event participant, or participating yourself. [Add information about any events happening in your community during MS Awareness Week].
During this important week, I encourage everyone to help create a world free of MS. Whatever you do, no matter how small, it can make a big impact in the lives of people affected by the disease
First and last name