How to Start a Letter Writing Campaign

The First Step to writing an effective letter is to know who to write.

This is an important question to ask, because you don’t want to spend your time and money mailing letters to the wrong person.  You need to know that the person receiving the letters has the authority to make the change you are seeking.

So before you begin, ask yourself:

Who has the authority to make the desired decision I am after?

Is is the President of the company? Not all Presidents make all of the decisions. Place a phone call and find out who has the deciding vote on the matter.  If the president, representative or other leader does not have veto power, find out the names of the people in the group who do have the authority to make changes; this might be committe members; it might be people on the board of director, or even individual stake holders; it might be the general public (for example, voters who can replace a city leader at an upcoming election).

Findins the person (or people) “in charge” doesn’t necessarily mean that person has the power to make the change you are looking for. So finding the chain of command is not necessarily want you want; You want to know which individual(s) have the power to make the change you are looking for.

In my town, the mayor has to clear most decisions with the city council. But if the city council was against what I wanted, there would be other calls-to-action I would make:

Consider petitioning. This is a great tool to use if none of the people with the power to effect change, are for change. Whether you know it or not, everyone is accountable to someone. Politicians are accountable to those who voted them in. Petitioning is a great way to get the will of the people before the person that they voted in.

Rallying.  This is an awesome tactic to use if you need to make an immediate and powerful statement. Sometimes rallies follow other calls to action, as a reinforcement. Other times,  rallies are the best choice when you need the energy of the natural outrage that follows a bad decision…or when you only have hours to make that statement  before an event.

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