How to Write an Op-Ed

December 2, 2016 2:02 pm Published by

Though most everyone has read a piece in his or her local newspaper’s opinion section, it’s not always clear what makes for a good Opinion Editorial (op-ed). The key element of an effective op-ed is an individual/company’s strong position on a specific topic or issue that isn’t yet being shared with a larger audience. Good op-ed pieces are both educational and persuasive to support a given cause or issue.

If you have an opinion on a topic or issue that you feel should be heard, here are the essential elements that should come together to create an impactful op-ed likely to be selected to run:

  1. To the point

    An op-ed isn’t a long piece, so try to keep it to 400 to 600 words in length.

  2. Target and support your opinion

    Make sure that the copy is timely and has a local angle that will compel readers. Many op-eds start with a dramatic statistic or fact regarding the influence of the topic.

  3. Share your position on the issue

    Although you know the topic or issue, make sure you concisely outline it first as well as your stance on it, so that readers who may not know about it are easily able to understand and can be inspired by your opinion.

  4. Address the opposition

    To build credibility on the issue, quickly outline the opposition’s side. After addressing the other side, you can illustrate a counter argument based on your expertise and knowledge.

  5. Include a call to action

    After outlining your perspective and addressing the opposition, include a strong call to action to readers, so that they may take action if they agree with your opinion.

These tips only address the technical parts of an op-ed, it is up to you to integrate these tips with your compelling opinion and call to action on a timely issue.

Other Relevant Articles:

8 Tips to Determine Newsworthiness 

The New PR Landscape: PR as Publishers

Go with the Flow: Adapting PR Strategies to the Changing Media Environment


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This post was written by Veronica Mikitka Reed

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