More than words

After yesterday’s post (about the uncertain future of Guiding Light), I got quite a few emails asking for advice about what to write when writing to CBS or to any of the other media outlets I’d suggested.

I’m a bit of an expert in this area, since correspondence has been one of my projects in almost every corporate job I’ve had. I also had a reputation among my friends as being the guy that writes those snarky, pointed letters to the editor.

I don’t want to suggest any specific statements, but here’s a few possible ideas on how to say it.

Be succinct. Anything significantly over 200 or 300 words will bore the hell out of the reader; if your letter is long and rambling, you risk having the recipient think you’re a goofball. Introduce yourself, get to the point of why you’re writing, and then ask your question or make your suggestion.

Mention what’s important. In this case, if you’re a woman 18-49, you definitely want to mention that. If you remember memorable advertising that ran during the show, or made a purchase based on that ad, mentioning that would be a big bonus (especially if you’re writing to CBS, Bloom or Moonves, or your local station). You may also want to mention, briefly, some of your other favorite CBS shows.

Be positive. Don’t stomp your feet and suggest you’ll never watch again (Lynn Liccardo has a great post about this here). Keep it brief and positive.

Be specific. Suggest a resolution, idea, or goal. You like the show and want it to continue. You really like the recent changes and want it to have a chance to succeed – at least one more year?

Snail mail and e-mail first. I realize there are phone numbers out there (particularly for Les Moonves), but mail or email are, in most cases, taken more seriously. (It’s also usually recorded or catalogued in a more consistent, complete way than phone calls are.)  Getting a fax number might be helpful, particularly if contacting people in the media. The one obvious issue with snail mail is time – the decision about GL’s future could come as early as this week.

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