Advocacy Updates

Friday April 5, 2024

Tips for Writing an Op-Ed For Your Local Paper
By Frank Price, NorCalPCA Advocacy Chair
[email protected]

Peace Corps is entering its 63rd year, and writing an op-ed article for your local newspaper or favorite online news source is a great way to make sure it continues for another 63 years. It takes some time, effort, and focus, but is worth it!

While I am not an expert, I have had my work published in a variety of newspapers. It is important to point out that I owe much to Jonathan Pearson (Advocacy Director of the National Peace Corps Association) and his ideas, knowledge, and organizational skills. And a certain amount I owe to luck.

This is a valuable opportunity to promote the Peace Corps to the public. Newspapers are still an important form of communication. Here are some tips and ideas to help you get started:

  • Believe in what you are writing
  • Word count and being concise are important
  • Have someone review and edit your piece. I am willing to help!
  • Contact the newspaper editor. I try to call and or write the editors and let them know that I and many other RPCVs are local readers and subscribers.
  • See if there are any requirements, i.e. do you need to be a subscriber or live in the same area as where the paper is published? Can the op-ed be submitted to other papers?
  • You can find a lot of basic facts to support your writing on the Peace Corps and National Peace Corps Association websites
  • Choose a theme to grab readers’ attention, i.e. celebrating Peace Corps’ 63rd year, soliciting support for the Peace Corps, tying your Peace Corps experience to your local area, etc.
I would like to offer my help to those of you who take the challenge! And if you succeed, please send us a copy or link that we can share with our members. I can be reached at [email protected]. Good luck and smooth writing!

Read Frank’s latest advocacy report from his trip to Washington DC for NPCA’s Day on the Hill!
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