Write to the press

Published: 11th June 2015

The Trust gives wild land a voice – but we need you to help spread the word.

You can help influence public and political opinion by writing to the press. Letters to the press are widely read and are an effective way of raising awareness, stimulating debate and pushing decision makers in the right direction for wild land.

Look out for opportunities to respond to articles and stories that give you a chance to talk about the importance of wild land. You can write to local and national papers, as well as specialist media, for example outdoor magazines and the journals of clubs you belong to. Check out our top ten tips for writing to the press below.

Sgurr Ruadh

Ten tips on writing to the press

  1. You can write in response to something that has been published very recently in the newspaper (ideally within a day of the article’s date) or you can write “on spec”.
  2. Think carefully about how you start your letter – make sure people know what you are writing about straight away, and encourage them to read on.  Remember that you may know a lot about this issue but not everyone will – ask someone who isn’t familiar with the story to read your draft for clarity.
  3. Remember that editors sometimes cut letters down so make sure your most important points are covered in the first part of your letter in case they cut from the bottom up!
  4. Keep things clear and concise and avoid jargon and abbreviations so that people with no previous knowledge of the topic can quickly understand it.
  5. Try to stay calm, however passionately you feel about the subject - rants will not be published, and you should avoid attacks on particular people.  It is okay however to provide a critical analysis of the actions of politicians and other public figures.
  6. Letters should usually be addressed to “Dear Editor or Sir/Madam.” 
  7. Include your full name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address.  (Anonymous letters will not be published but you can ask for your full address to be withheld and telephone numbers will only be used by a paper to contact you with a query).
  8. Letters are best sent in by email to ensure the quickest possible turnaround.
  9. If your letter is not accepted the first time around, try again – you can try a slightly different angle on another day/at a later date.  Keep looking out for an opportunity to respond to a relevant article or letter, or send it to another newspaper.
  10. Other places where you can try to influence debate are the comments facility on some online news pages and within blogs.

If you have had something published we won’t always be aware of this, especially if it is in a more local or specialist publication so please email us

Good luck with getting your letter published and thank you!

PCA 14 121210