Tips for Writing Letters to Decision Makers:
Letter writing is a very powerful tool for effecting changes. Here are some tips for writing letters to decision makers:
- Original letters count most and a regular letter usually carries more weight than an email. Express your views in your own words and, if possible, include a personal experience in your letter.
- Address one issue at a time and be brief. One page is perfect, but you could go to two. Handwritten letters are fine, but just make sure they are readable.
- Your first sentence should state where you live, especially if you are a constituent (meaning, you live in his or her voting district) of the elected official to whom you are writing.
- The first paragraph should explain why you are writing and what you want the person to do.
- Ask for a response. For example: “I look forward to hearing how you will vote.”
- Be polite in the letter and thank the reader for considering your views. Remember, when elected officials receive enough letters about a particular issue, their opinions can be influenced.
Special thanks to the Sea Turtle Conservancy for the tips listed above.
If You Are Sending An Email:
- Be sure you have the correct email address. If you are off by one letter or number, the email will be returned to you!
- Include a short description of the topic in the subject box. For example, you might want to write “Support Manatee Protection.”
- Start your email with a salutation. For example, you might write “Dear Governor Scott” if you were sending an email to Florida’s governor.
- Keep your email short so it is easy to read. One or two paragraphs is usually fine.
- Finish your email with a close such as, “Sincerely.”
- Include your first and last name, regular mailing address, and email address.
- Use the spelling checker to find mistakes before you send the email.
Please consider the above as exercises you can do with your entire class. They will be fun and informative and a great lesson in civics, and they will help in the protection of manatees.