Public Transportation

Editorial Boards

What is an editorial board? Editorials reflect the issue positions taken by a publication. These essays, which can help influence decision-makers, are written by the editorial board and usually use information presented by local, state or national figures during an editorial board meeting or briefing. These meetings, which are often scheduled at regular times each week, typically last no more than one hour and take place at the publication’s office.

How to request an editorial board meeting: Editorial writers are news-oriented. Thus, meeting requests are more likely to be received positively if you approach an editor when transit or related issues are in the headlines. To request a meeting:

  1. Find out the publication’s position on specific public transportation issues before seeking a meeting. This can be accomplished by reviewing previously published editorials and relevant news coverage.
  2. Draft a brief letter to the editorial page editor stating why your issue or position is worthy of discussion. Provide compelling and timely facts that demonstrate you have valuable information or an interesting perspective to share. It is also useful to explain why the issue is particularly relevant to your community. (A sample letter is included in this manual.)
  3. Follow up with a telephone call.

Tips for a successful editorial board meeting:

  • Focus your presentation on no more than three main messages supported by facts, data, memorable examples, anecdotes or quotes.
  • Show that you are aware of other approaches to the issue. Editorial writers may ask you to explain the opposing point of view. You will have greater credibility if you are perceived as having seriously considered other viewpoints while taking a firm stand.
  • Consider taking along an ally who can provide additional credibility, expert testimony, personal insight or a local angle.
  • Be prepared to defend your position, answer questions, hand out simple charts or background materials and offer to be available if additional information is needed.

Templates

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