What is an op-ed? Opinion editorials, or "op-eds," are short commentary pieces written by third parties rather than the staff of the publication. An op-ed is an excellent way to communicate your messages, directly and unfiltered, to target audiences -- regardless of whether the publication is interested in an editorial board meeting.
How to submit an op-ed: Op-ed policies differ from publication to publication. It is important to learn in advance the criteria and format for submitting op-eds and to whom a piece should be sent. Most op-ed articles focus on a single issue and raise a few key points or messages. Longer pieces are likely to be heavily edited by the publication. When submitting an op-ed article, be aware that the choice of an author is critical; people with highly recognizable names or positions in your community are more likely to have their articles published.
Tips for getting your op-ed published:
- Select a topic that is currently in the headlines and will continue to be newsworthy for the next two to three weeks.
- The article should be well organized and well written, typed, double-spaced and no more than 650 - 750 words in length.
- A short cover note should accompany the article. The note should include the author’s name, title and organization (or other descriptive credential), contact information and why the piece is important.
- Within a couple of days, follow up with a telephone call to express your hope that the piece will be published.