Friday, 23 September 2011

Ten ways of saying it

 On the off chance that readers, of these sometimes visited pages, should wish to express their opinions more widely, I’m pleased to share a few tips; for gaining column inches, within the national press. Before I do, though, I’d like to explode the myth, that getting a short letter published is particularly difficult; by relating my own experience. I began submitting, to the UK’s Metro newspaper, nigh on four years ago and in the space of three years, my words appeared within its pages, on more than forty occasions. It could, then, reasonably be assumed that I’d bombarded the editor with emails, at an alarming rate; but not so. My rate of submission had, actually, been in the region of two or three per week, combined with long periods of inactivity, and the average would probably be one letter every two weeks. It is, perhaps, not a bad strike rate, but this may have a great deal to do with my having cottoned on to a formula. Learn how to submit, I suggest, and you’re more than half way there.

 Anyway, at risk of being seen to 'blow my own trumpet' (which is, of course, the case, but, I hope that this article helps others to get ‘heard’), here’s some advice and a few examples:
                                                        

                                                        

1) Be outspoken….Twelve months on, I’m less certain, but, this was my view at the time; so I felt compelled to make the point explicitly and challenge a long held convention. I may have been right, or quite possibly wrong, but, either way, I questioned established thinking and that, I imagine, was the editor’s reason for publication.

                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                                         

2) Use wordplay…I was keen to have a dig at Top Gear, largely because of my unswerving belief that the programme trivialises the issue of road safety. Merely stating this, however, would, I suspect, not have been enough; so humour and wordplay are well deployed in such situations. It may also be beneficial when we call to account public figures who are, themselves, notoriously outspoken!

                                           
                     
                                                                       

3) Sarcasm....Everyone loves a bit of it, don’t they, as long as it’s well directed?.. and of course, America’s least admired president has long been a sitting duck! Go for it, I say, when it’s deserved, because there are few better ways to deride an unworthy leader. Clearly, the editor agreed, judging by the accompanying photograph!

                                                              

                                                                                                                              
                                                             

4) Innuendo and double entendre...There’s a reason the Carry On films remain popular and that’s presumably because most people like something a bit saucy. If you can extend it, to make an additional assertion (in this case, the suggestion that such scenarios are frankly ludicrous), then the chance of publication may be further increased.

                                                               
                                                                                                               

5) Expose a contradiction….When the words of government ministers are contrary to their activities, it needs, in the public interest, to be highlighted. Be vigilant and you may even glean an opportunity to support one of the world’s great campaigners.

                                                             

                                                                                    

6) Dreadful jokes….Real groan-along humour is clearly a precious commodity, at least, to the folk at Metro and if you can come up with something not fit even for a Christmas cracker, then all the better!

                                                      

                                                                           

7) Have a go at the Pope....You know you want to!...and with apologies to any Catholic readers, it's all fair comment

                                                    

                                                                                    
8) Don’t be afraid of the dark….There are, of course, issues that no one could enjoy thinking about; yet, addressing them is vital, if we are to live in a better world. Spare a moment to think about matters, literally, of life and death and send in your thoughts. To quote Kitchener “your country needs you”, as, I suggest, does the world!


                                                 
         
                                                                                                                                                                          

                   
                                            

9) Challenge the overly faithful

Opinions based on anything other than reason are easily challenged. Use your rationality to get into print. It’s one of the easiest ways.

                                                           

   
                                                         

10) Be downright infantile!



Need I say more?


....although, of course, I will! Further to this, keep it succinct and write much as it would trip from the tongue. That way, you, too, can make your, perhaps unexceptional, yet valuable thoughts known, to millions!



2 comments:

BAX said...

Brilliant!

Webbawebb said...

Thanks for your comment. Pleased you like the article!