Op-Eds, the opinion pieces that appear on the editorial pages of newspapers, can be effective communication tools for nonprofits. Sandra L. Beckwith, in her book Publicity for Nonprofits, advises anyone considering submitting an op-ed piece to have a clear topic in mind, as well as a clear goal. It is also a good idea to contact the publication to assess its interest in the piece beforehand.
Once all that has been done, take the following steps.
- Begin by illustrating how the topic or issue affects readers. One good way is by putting a face on the issue, starting with a story of someone who has been affected by it. If this is not possible, lead with an attention-getting statement.
- Follow that illustration with a statement explaining the broader scope of the issue. Use statistics to put the situation in context.
- Describe the problem and why it exists. This is often an opportunity to offer your solution to the problem. Explain why it is the best option.
- Conclude on a strong note. Repeat your message or state a call to action.
- Make sure to put a note at the end describing your credentials as they relate to the topic.