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:
To the point
An op-ed isn’t a long piece, so try to keep it to 400 to 600 words in length.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Tags: communications, issues management, Media Relations, op-eds, public relations
This post was written by Veronica Mikitka Reed