A letter to the editor is a chance for a member of a newspaper?s readership to share a thought with fellow readers. They are a great tool for raising awareness of myeloma and the IMF. As a rule, editorials are in response to articles on a particular topic, or the lack thereof. For example, when newspapers nationwide first published the results of a New England Journal of Medicine study on the effectiveness of thalidomide in treating myeloma patients, the IMF seized the moment and submitted letters to the editor applauding the various publications for their coverage of thalidomide ? a new option for myeloma patients, while stressing the need for continued research aimed at discovering additional therapies.
Letters to the editor can also speak to the need for something to happen ? an increase in funding for myeloma research, for example. When writing a letter to the editor, a general rule is that passion comes across well. Anger doesn't. Therefore, avoid taking on a negative tone in your letter. At the end of every letter to the editor, be sure to include your name, full address and phone number. Only your name and city will be used, but the editorial staff may wish to contact you to verify that you are the author of the letter.
Following are examples of actual letters to the editor that have been submitted by IMF staff and members. Many of these letters were selected for print.
- Letter to the Editor in response to articles regarding the use of thalidomide in treating multiple myeloma.
- Letter to the Editor in response to articles surrounding the Roger Neilson's announcement that he is a myeloma patient.
- Letter to the Editor responding to articles related to a New England Journal of Medicine study regarding the role of the environment in the development of cancer.
TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN WRITING A LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
- You can find the contact information for submitting a letter to the editor in your newspaper's editorial section.
- Addressing a letter "Dear Editor" is acceptable.
- As a rule, remember to keep your letter short (three-to-five paragraphs). There are some exceptions.
- Sentences should be concise.
- Make only one point per letter.
- The first paragraph should state the purpose of your letter. The second paragraph should convey some background information - a description of myeloma, some statistics, etc. Your opinion comes in the third paragraph. The final paragraph should tell the reader what you want them do to.
- Remember to sign your letter and include your complete address and phone number.