Letter Writing Tips – Ed Winkelseth

I recommend the first paragraph of any letter be personal so as to remove the appearance of the letter being a fill in the blanks form letter.

I also recommend dropping the Dear in the Salutation; address them as Councilman, Representative, Congressman, Attorney General, Mayor, Senator, President or whatever.  They like their titles and in the rest of the letter you will be addressing the fact that if they don’t do the job they were elected to do they may not have the title very long.

Another important thing to remember is some of these folks are seeking higher office, McCollum wants to be Governor, Crist wants to be our Senator, etc.  Remind them that you are watching how well they perform their present duties and this will serve as an indicator of their suitability to hold higher office.

When you get to the closure let them know you expect action on their part.

Examples of the first sentence of the opening paragraph include, but are in no way limited to (remember the more original it is the harder hitting it will be) the following, and after that a short sentence or two are where the reader will be able to see this is not a form letter.

I am a single parent.
I am a stay at home mother
I am a small business owner
I am a plumber, electrician, clerk, secretary, etc.
I am a disabled veteran, veteran, military retiree, etc.
I am a naturalized citizen
I am a “whatever”

Another thing to remember is to make sure we have the correct legislation number for the individual we are writing; Senators vote on Bills preceded by a “Sxxxxx” and representatives vote on Bill numbers preceded by a “Hxxxx”

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