The trick, though, is to craft the op-ed so that it is published in influential media. Those media outlets range from the establishment The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to digital-only The Huffington Post and Abovethelaw.com.
Here are 4 tips for having your or your client's op-ed capture the attention of just the right media decision-makers:
Make Title Shocking. Even somewhat traditional public relations agencies recommend titles which go even beyond provocative. It takes that to catch the eye of the editor.
"America Has Gotten Stuck" will not attract attention.
An explosive title requires off-center thinking.
Adopt Unique Angle. Everyone is writing about how dysfunctional Washington D.C. is. The marketable angle could be the niche Inside the Beltway which is still working.
The same-old simply won't sell.
Be Contrarian. Among the most effective speakers at TED Talks are those who embrace a contrarian line of thought. If everyone is pushing us to eat more vegetables, what will get noticed is the argument about the perils of excessive vegetable consumption.
Management consultant Peter Drucker was well-acquainted with the contrarian tactic. When his colleagues were laboring to improve efficiency in corporation operations such as the mailroom, he barked, "Sell the mailroom," that is, outsource that function. Of course, that op-ed was published in The Wall Street Journal.
Provide Solution. There has to be a concrete takeaway. No, you can't get away with telling the nation that this problem needs to become a priority issue. Yes, you can indicate that your recommendation is simply the first step.
How can you improve your skill at putting together op-eds? Analyze those in diverse kinds of media. Ask yourself what elements make them resonate. Then practice through your own blog. The major benefit of blogging is that the marketplace informs us what tactics are effective and which aren't.