Three Tips for Placing Your Next OpEd
Jamie Lovegrove • April 27, 2023
One of the most effective ways to get your organization’s perspective out into the public without having to go through the filter of news reporters or pay for advertising is through Op-Eds. However, getting the right message out in the right way is no easy task.
Here are three tips to keep in mind for successfully placing an Op-Ed:
1) This may seem basic, but it doesn’t always go without saying: Form an actual opinion, ideally an insightful one, and pick the right messenger to deliver it. The point of getting an op-ed published is not just to see your name in print, it’s to have a real impact on the public conversation. Ask yourself, on what issue of public interest do you have expertise, what is your specific viewpoint in a matter of public debate, and what are the potential counterarguments that you should anticipate and address?
2) Write concisely and avoid advertising jargon. Many publications won’t even consider an op-ed that is longer than around 750-800 words – partly because, if it’s a print publication, they have limited space, but more importantly because they know from experience that readers have a limited attention span and that concise writing is often more compelling anyway. Given those constrictions, don’t try to jam in a bunch of shameless plugs for your company. Opinion editors will immediately detect if the true purpose of your op-ed is mere self-promotion, and they’ll tell you to pay for an ad instead. Look at an op-ed as more about developing a reputation as a thought leader in your field, which can still pay dividends for your organization in the long run.
3) Pick the publication wisely. Look, we’d all love to get published by the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, but the reality is those publications receive hundreds of submissions per day and only publish a small handful. The selection process can be more difficult than getting admission to an Ivy League college. If your opinion specifically affects a particular area or region, consider a local publication instead. Or if it is targeted towards one particular industry, try pitching it to a trade publication that’s focused on that topic and is more likely to have the type of audience you’re trying to reach anyway.
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