Pitching op-eds in the Internet age

Changing rules for landing in the opinion pages.

Changing rules for landing in the opinion pages

There’s no doubt that e-mail and the Internet have created a lot more competition when you’re trying to get an op-ed or a letter to the editor published. Where op-ed and letters editors might have received a few dozen submissions 10 years ago, now they’ll get hundreds—and in the case of big dailies like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal—thousands daily.

However, the Internet also has some real benefits for PR professionals who need to engage in issues management via the op-ed pages.

Ray Merenstein, principal of RDM Communications in Denver, and Matthew Bowdy, chief communications at Humana Inc. in Louisville, Ky., have worked together for years creating op-ed pieces with a high rate of publishing success. In many ways, they say the Internet has eased the job of getting op-ed pieces published.

“With blogs and podcasts, you’re now guaranteed that your op-ed will get published,” says Merenstein. In other words, since organizations can now become publishers and create their own news outlets, they can publish their own op-ed pieces for their specific audiences.

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