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Social Work Month Letter to the Editor Writing Campaign

Thursday, February 28, 2019  
Posted by: Jamie Klufts
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Social Work Month Letter to the Editor Writing Campaign

Write a Letter to the Editor!

 

As part of this year’s Social Work Month celebration, NASW-MA is encouraging members and our legislative allies to submit letters to the editor to their local papers during the month of March. The goal is to highlight the value social workers bring to communities across Massachusetts.

 

About LTEs:

Letters to the Editor (LTEs) are great ways to get the word out about issues you care about. They can be used to educate the public, air frustrations, spread gratitude, indirectly inform public policy or influence legislators, and publicize the work of specific groups or organizations. LTEs are published as part of a newspaper or magazine’s opinion section, one of the most widely read features of any publication.

 

How to Submit:

Most papers and magazines accept letters to the editor. Each publication is different, but typically LTEs should be between 200-500 words. Please check your local paper’s website to determine what their word count limits are. You can look up your local paper, their word count requirements, and the instructions for how to submit your finished LTE here: https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/writing-letter-editor-massachusetts. If your LTE is longer than their max, they will not publish it. LTE submission does not guarantee publication and you likely will not be notified if your submission is accepted and published. Check the publication periodically over the course of the 10 days following your submission to see if you’ve been published.

 

Be sure to let NASW-MA know if you’ve been published! If published electronically, please share the link with NASW-MA’s Communications Director Jamie Klufts so that we can share on our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter): jklufts.naswma@socialworkers.org. Be on the lookout for letters in your local paper throughout March!

 

LTE Writing Tips:

  •  Start your letter with a “hook,” a sentence that introduces your reason for writing in an interesting way, enticing the reader to keep reading. Keep the most important information upfront, preferably in the first paragraph.
  • Be clear, concise, and conversational. Your style and tone are important. It is also important to write the letter in your own words. Make your reader feel like they are your friend and that you have some expertise or insight that they can learn from. If possible, share relevant personal or professional experience and any local connection(s) to the topic.
  •  Adhere to your word count. Each publication will have their own word count requirements, ensuring that your letter is short and focused. Stick to one or two major points to ensure that you stay focused and do not exceed the word count limit.
  • Provide your contact information. Include your name, credentials (MSW, LICSW, etc.) address, email, and phone number. Local and regional news outlets want to publish LTEs by those in their catchment areas. If you’re a social worker, be sure to indicate that.  

Social Work Month 2019 Talking Points:

  •  Social Work Month is about recognizing the important work social workers do for people across the Commonwealth and throughout the world.
    • Each March we celebrate Social Work Month, recognizing the work social workers do every day to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.
    • The 2019 Social Work Month theme is “Elevate Social Work,” with a focus on educating the public about the contributions social workers have made to our society and why the profession is so vital to our state.
    • Social workers work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, community agencies, jails and courts, government and state agencies, research and academia, schools, and private practice.
  • Social workers provide invaluable services that often go unrecognized.
    • Social workers go through years of education to learn and hone their professional skills so they can help others reach their full potential. Many social workers also take continuing education courses each year to make sure their skills remain cutting-edge.
    • Social workers deserve better compensation for the important work they do. Despite the life-affirming, invaluable work that social workers perform, their salaries tend to lag behind those of other helping professions such as psychologists, nurses, teachers, and police officers.
  • Massachusetts, the United States, and world needs social workers now more than ever.
    • It is estimated that there are more than 680,000 social workers in the United States (more than 25,000 are in Massachusetts).
    • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States, with 100,000 more social workers expected to enter the profession in just seven years.
    • There is a rising need for social workers in the United States to help us cope with societal problems, including caring for our aging population.
    • Social workers are the largest providers of mental health services in the United States, working on important issues such as suicide prevention, the opioid crisis, and working with survivors of sexual and domestic violence.
    • In Massachusetts, social workers, in coordination with the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, are fighting to increase access to mental health services, ban LGBTQ conversion therapy, protect immigrant communities, end harmful welfare policies, raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction, increase access to important safety net programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and more. 

Sample LTEs Related to Social Work:

Questions? Editing Help?

 Contact Jamie Klufts, Communications Director, NASW-MA: jklufts.naswma@socialworkers.org, 617-227-9635 x119. 

 

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National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts Chapter
11 Beacon Street, Suite 510, Boston MA 02108
tel: (617)227-9635 fax: (617)227-9877 email: chapter.naswma@socialworkers.org
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