Thank you for joining the campaign to #SaveTheArctic. Please use the ideas and top tips below to write a letter to the local paper to spark debate and raise awareness about our (and your) campaign.
Local and regional newspapers are widely read by people who may not read the national newspapers, who are often more interested in what’s happening locally and pay more attention to what other local people are saying. Letter pages are one of the most popular parts of local papers, and are usually short of content so getting a letter published is very possible.
A lively debate in your local letters page will bring the Greenpeace campaign to #SaveTheArctic to the attention of a wider audience and will help convince Shell that their customers and local people are outraged at their plans to drill in the Arctic this summer.
Choose one of the free newspapers that come through your door, or pick one of your locals from the 1100+ listings on the newspapersoc website.
Who to write to?
Check your newspaper's website for their preferred contact method; they will list a number of options. Ideally email the letters page, or a listed editor, or if necessary use a contact form. If possible also send a copy via the post.
Address your letter to the ‘letters page’ or to ‘letters to the editor’ and/or start your email subject with something similar e.g. letters to the editor – Shell’s plan to drill in the Arctic ....
What to write?
Start with a hook; i.e. what inspired you to write to the newspaper.
If you'd like to find out more about locally organised protests please visit the GetActive webpages, and if there is a local group/network active then 'join their webgroup'
- If there are protests happening near you, then you’ve got the perfect hook; I was passing a Shell petrol station when I saw Greenpeace in action ....
- Or if there is not much happening yet, you could use the hook; I saw a Stop Shell poster in the window of the local shop and ....
- Or you could write a letter as a concerned local resident who’s watched Frozen Planet (BBC) and/or has seen the news online (Guardian) as to what’s happening in the Arctic. I am outraged to learn that....
- Finally if you've got an another idea for a local hook, or if you know a local journalist then please post your idea as a comment below and then use your skills and imagination to get your letter about the #SaveTheArctic campaign into the local paper.
Keep your letter short and simple, ideally no more than 350-400 words / 3-4 paragraphs and make it as personal as possible – i.e. why you care, why the Arctic and climate change matters to you as a local person, and why you think Shell should cancel their drilling plans.
Include your name and address, and if you’d prefer - ask the paper not to print your address.
If you would like to include a campaign message, then please adapt the messages from these blogs;
- What should we be doing to save the Arctic?
- In 30 years we've lost 75% of Arctic sea ice
- Climate lessons from Total gas leak
- 10 reasons why investing in Arctic drilling is reckless
But avoid using too many statistics or ‘campaign speak’; this is your letter, write from the heart, avoid sounding self-righteous but tell people about why you care.
Finally include a link to more information i.e. http://www.savethearctic.org/
Tell me who you’ve written to
Please fill out the form to tell me which newspaper(s) you’ve written to, and if they include your letter in the letters page, please email a copy of the coverage to Richard Martin.