Talking Points for LTEs/Op-Eds

Back from the Brink’s Statement on Ukraine

Tips for LTEs

  • Short and sweet is best. In fact, most newspapers require a word count of 200 words or less.
  • Ideally reference a recent article, letter to the editor, op-ed or editorial
  • In the first paragraph clearly state what issue/problem you are addressing and what the solution is
  • Write something personal—have you been personally impacted? How? This will help you connect your message with readers and your target.
  • Refer to the legislator or the corporation you are trying to influence by name
  • If your LTE gets published send the link to the legislator or corporation you are targeting in your LTE.
    Resource from UCS: https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/writing-effective-letter-editor

Tips for Op-Eds

  • Track the news and jump at opportunities.
  • Limit the article to 750 words.
  • Make a single point, and do it well.
  • Put your main point on top.
  • Tell readers why they should care.
  • Showing is better than discussing.
  • Embrace your personal voice and make it local.
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs.
  • Avoid jargon.
  • Acknowledge the other side, but avoid tedious rebuttals.
  • Don’t worry about the headline.
  • Know where to submit the article.

Main talking points for LTE/Op-Eds

  • Nuclear weapons make us less safe, not more.
  • Nuclear weapons did not prevent Russia’s invasion nor can they be used to stop the war
  • This war and Putin’s nuclear belligerence illustrates the dangers
  • One person is holding the entire world hostage. Current US policy gives the US president and no one else that same power/authority
  • War/crisis could easily escalate and lead to serious miscalculation including the use of nuclear weapons
  • When the crisis has ended we will have no choice but to re-engage with Russia and get back to discussing the world’s collective self interest in getting rid of all nuclear weapons
  • The worst response to this crisis would be more nuclear weapons, and more spending on the military, a dangerous global nuclear arms race.
  • Rather, we should fundamentally reassess the role and value of nuclear weapons as instruments of our security and conflict prevention and management
  • Conflicts can easily escalate due to misunderstandings, errors, and fear.
  • Nuclear weapons are profoundly undemocratic, with the power to end humanity resting in the hands of a few men.
  • We must pursue diplomatic solutions, not only to this crisis, but as a standing policy of pursuing peace and true, collective security.
  • We can stigmatize, ban, and eliminate these weapons, as we have done with other indiscriminate weapons of war, but it is going to take all of us.
  • Nuclear weapons are humanity’s common enemy.
  • 400+ organizations, 56 cities and hundreds of lawmakers have supported Back from the Brink, demonstrating that there is broad support for global nuclear weapons abolition.
  • Having these conversations locally is a great way to begin to influence the national discussion around nuclear weapons, which is usually dominated by political and military insiders.

If you want help crafting an Op-Ed or LTE, please email info@preventnuclearwar.org and we will connect you with someone who can help.

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