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Media outlets are more likely to notice or publish letters to the editor if they recieve several letters that hit on the same subject. If we pick a single theme to hit on each day and spend a few minutes to write our local papers and perhaps some national outlets, we're more likely to gather some attention.

I propose having a "daily theme" for letters to the editors on this blog. If we all take the time to write a letter to our media outlets on that theme, we're more likely to get attention. The flood of hundreds or thousands of kossacks would be hard to ignore.

Themes should meet a few criteria to make them useful and likely to be published, in addition to the usual tips for LTEs:
  • It should be a current event or issue.  Letters about old news aren't going to get published.  Letters about current events that are fresh in peoples minds are effective.
  • It should be a single simple concept. Letters to the editor should be short and pithy. Ideally, the theme should be expressable in 100 words or less.  Longer letters are less likely to be published - most papers have a 200 word limit.
  • It shouldn't be a pre-written letter that everyone copies. We should highlight the bullet points to hit and the relavent facts but everyone should write the letters in their own words to make the message authentic.
  • It should contain factual data and not be overly inflammitory. Nothing wrong with being firm or having a strong opinion, but if you look like a nut nobody will listen to you.
  • On slow news days we can hit on some other subject that's sorta smoldering in the campaign, e.g. setting the record straight on the authority for war vote, the $87 billion vote, flip-flopping, etc.
  • Some topics should be specifically promoting Kerry or trashing Bush, but it's a good idea to have some that just try to bring attention to an important story that helps our cause (e.g. news events from Iraq, gas prices, economic problems, etc.)

If we give the theme front page attention (with some links to assist the LTE process) we can get some wide participation and generate the noise neccessary to get our voices heard. The Republicans have been beating us at having a single message coming from all channels and not disagreeing in public. Consistency is the key to making this work.

Originally posted to fwiffo on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 05:21 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (none)
    So?  Am I cracked, or is this a good idea?  How shall we choose our daily themes?

    A couple possibilities to start with:

  •  This is Astroturfing (none)
    And we should do it.  I spent a few weeks one summer answering phones for a German company bankruptcy here in the D.C. area.  But first they gave me an astroturfing test.  I literally had to compose an astroturf letter to a congressman.  They all were totally evil Republicans.

    Kos should take this up.  Its really important.  Right now our level of news cycle control is really low and we need to step up.

    The Iron Mouth: Only the Hardest Truths

  •  OK, we need a plan (none)
    Allright fwiffo, what we need is a plan.  I suggest the following.  First--getting the word out.  Second Technique--a theme a week as you suggest.  The stuff should be staggerd as it comes in and go to different papers.  

    You can email me with details.  Do you know people who might be interested?


    •  I thought I had a plan... (none)
      The reason I wanted to do it daily is because a lot of news stories have a shelf life of only a couple days, and a specific, current message has a bigger impact.

      And I was hoping to get kossacks interested...  Should the chosen topics be kept to a cabal to evade counter-turfing?

  •  I just signed up (none)
    to do the Kerry site's "5 a day".  Your suggestion would work well for regular LTTE writers, if they had a different theme each day.  Topical is very good.

    I just sent the letter I wanted to anyway, and ignored the "health care" theme on the site. My letters were sent (I got a confirmation from the Dalls Morning News).

    I'd do it, either based on a weekly or daily posted "theme".  Post it here, so we can look it up each day?  We could post our letters so that we could crib from each other.  This is at least better personalization than the pre-written astroturfing.   If someone can give me the theme, I can write it, and I'd be glad to post my humble efforts here.

  •  Today's topic (if anyone is participating) (none)
    The nonsensical Republican push for congressional investigation into the CBS documents.  Contrast with your choice of many examples of Republican inneptitude.  Good choices are the failures in Iraq, the failures in the intelligence leading up to Iraq, the various indictments going on right now or being DELAYed, Valirie Plame, etc.

    Here's mine.  Don't just copy it - come up with your own words.  If a paper gets 5 copies of the same letter they'll ignore all of them.  Remember to keep it around 100 words, definately no more than 200.

    Let me get this straight. Republicans want to have an official congressional investigation into the apparently forged documents about the president's Texas Air National Guard service -- an investigation carried out at taxpayers' expense about an event from 30 years ago which has nothing to do with anything any sane person cares about.

    They seem considerably less interested in holding an investigation into the forged documents about an attempted purchase of uranium -- part of a mountain of bogus intelligence used to justify a war that has already killed more than a thousand American soldiers and untold thousands of Iraqi civilians.

    Dead people take all the fun out of irony.

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