Working with the Media: A Guide for Volunteer Organizations and Commissions


In this section you will find examples of letters to the editor, op-ed pieces, news releases, pitch letters, and media advisories. Please feel free to use these samples as templates for your effort. You may copy these examples and change them to meet your needs.

Using the Internet

The Internet allows you to bypass traditional “gatekeepers” in the print and broadcast media (editors and producers) and provide your message directly to people. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using the Internet as a public relations medium.

  • If your group has a Web site and e-mail address, include them in all press releases, media advisories, letters to the editor, and other documents intended to reach the public. Having a Web site to visit or an e-mail address to write to makes it easier for an interested person to contact you.
  • Your Web site reflects directly on your organization. Be sure that it is professional and represents you accurately. The entire world can visit your Web site, so make sure it is free of embarrassing errors.
  • Ask visitors to your Web site to provide their e-mail addresses if they want to become more closely involved or just keep up to date with what your organization is doing. Send the people on your e-mail list a monthly update to make sure they remember your group and what it is doing. Consistent and timely communications convey the impression that your group is highly organized and efficient.
  • Send news to your e-mail list as necessary, but do not flood recipients’ inboxes with superfluous or unimportant items.
  • Post news releases, media advisories, and similar documents on your Web site. It makes them accessible to visitors to the site, and also can provide a useful archive that documents your past activities.

Sample Letters to the Editor

Getting a Plug for Your Organization

To the Editor:

I read with great interest your article, “Trees Seen as Messy and Dangerous by Residents,” on July 5, 2005.

Because of the many benefits that public trees provide, the Greensburg tree commission has been working hard to plant, maintain, and remove public trees along the streets of our town, often with limited funding and people. Our efforts to improve the many benefits and reduce tree risks would be expanded by the help of other volunteers, especially those knowledgeable about trees. We need help with tree plantings, simple tree maintenance, and organizing projects. The support of citizens and elected officials to fund the removal and pruning of risky trees on an annual basis is also very important, but has been lacking in the past years.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35