Talking Points for LTEs/Op-Eds
- 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
- 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 email@example.com and we will connect you with someone who can help.