How to Write an Op-Ed

Though almost everyone has read a piece in their 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; one 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.

During this post-election time, if you have an opinion on an issue that you feel should be heard, here are essential elements that should come together to write an impactful op-ed that will stand out from all other submissions.

1. Get 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. Readers who may not know about it should easily be able to understand and 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, let them take action if they agree with your opinion.

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

Thank you for reading our Insight on how to write an op-ed. If you’re looking for related Insights with public and media relations tips, check out “8 Tips To Determine Newsworthiness,” and, “Adapting PR Strategies For Media Needs.”

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