Write Letters to Local Media

Letters to the Editor

Here is an outline for crafting a brief and effective letter to the editor.

Elements of a good letter:

1.  Who are you?

I am a concerned citizen/taxpayer

I have a specific interest relevant to the Parks issue, i.e., I am a horse owner, birder, hiker, naturalist, teacher, etc.

2.  What is your specific concern?

Have one concern to discuss in your letter, two at most. If you have several issues you are concerned about, write several letters, spaced out over several weeks.

Pick something you are passionate about. If you can relate it to something the news media has recently covered, that will increase the probability of publication.

For example:  I see Geauga Parks…

a. being compromised by noise/commercialization

b. being used as a government body to compete against private enterprise such  as snowmobile/ATV facilities, firearms ranges…

c. having its unique environment threatened

d. violating conditions of gifts, contracts, State law, etc.

e. introducing activities that are incompatible with natural areas and the public access

f. Being taken over by partisan interest

3. What do you want to have done (something specific, concrete, original, unique)?

          a. Reinstate the old bylaws

          b. Board and management should be more open, deliberate, thoughtful and honest in their statements and actions

          c. Judge Grendell should appoint qualified Board members and take a less active role.

          d. All motorized vehicles should be banned from park trails and other natural areas.

Use some type of catch phrase to motivate a headline and attract reader attention.

    1. We should be able to hear the birds sing—not just the roar of engines.
    2. We should be able to ride our horse in the park without fear of being run off the trail by an ATV.
    3. We all live downstream! Three rivers—the Chagrin, the Grand and the Cuyahoga—flow from and through our Geauga Parks.
    4. Park Board members should be chosen based on their qualifications—not their political affiliations.
    5. The parks should not be exploited for the political or financial benefit to a few, but preserved for the benefit of all Geauga citizens.

Keep letters short and to the point. Be as clear and concise as possible. Most publications prefer to limit the length of letters to around 200 words. Some publish their guidelines for letters to the editor on their editorial page. Be sure to include your name, your township or city of residence and a phone number where you can be reached to verify the authenticity of your letter.

Encourage your friends and neighbors to also write letters.

Send your letters by mail or e-mail to each publication that has circulation in Geauga County.

News Herald
7085 Mentor Avenue
Willoughby, OH  44094


Chagrin Valley Times
P.O. Box 150
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022


Maple Leaf
100 Center Street Suite 250
Chardon, OH 44024


The PlainDealer

Letters to the Editor
1801 Superior Ave., Suite 100
Cleveland, Ohio  44114

Plain Dealer online letter submission

Chesterland News
8389 Mayfield Rd. Suite B-5
Chesterland, OH  44026