Tips for Writing an Op/Ed Article

It’s important to express your opinion when you are passionate about a topic. One such way to do so is by writing an op/ed for a local, regional or national publication. By doing so you are establishing credibility and positioning yourself as the expert on the subject.

Here are four tips to consider when writing your next op/ed piece.

Be passionate:
We always tell our clients that a good op/ed is a passionate one. We recently received recognition from the PR Daily Awards for an op/ed we helped write and publish in a daily newspaper for a client on the subject of PSA testing and prostate cancer. As you can see, Dr. Kapoor was extremely passionate about this topic which made the article interesting and a fast read.

Pay attention to trends:
What is trending right now in your industry? Is there anything going on that you feel is important enough to warrant a op/ed piece? In Dr. Kapoor’s case, the PSA testing controversy made his opinion very timely and insightful.

Abide by guidelines:
Most newspapers have specific guidelines in place for submission of an op/ed piece ranging from exclusivity and word count, to strict deadlines and other special requests. When you’re writing the article try to stick with the facts that support your opinion and make sure you include where you found each piece of information. Once you’re happy with the article, submit it to the editor for review and work with the editor until you both are satisfied with the finalized piece. Do not be upset if an editor wants to change something or questions a specific sentence. This is their job and nine times out of ten their suggestions will make your op/ed piece stronger.

Promote the article:
Once you’ve written the op/ed make sure you spread the news to your contacts about the article and ask them to comment on the content you provided if possible. Also request that they too spread the word to their contacts and request comments. In addition, if you are active on social networking sites, then be sure to post the article to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. The more the article is read, commented on, linked to, etc. the better. This will not only create buzz for your chosen topic, opinion and area of expertise, but also make the editor happy since the article is such a success.

So, if you’re looking to validate your opinion on a subject you’re passionate about, try writing an op/ed article for a local, regional or national newspaper. It is great exposure and gives you the opportunity to really take a stand on an issue of importance to you and your industry.