Pavilion: Voices of Plurality in Action




















Pavilion is a proactive educational network providing news, information services and resources for and about multiple personality.


Thank you Wicks

How To Write A Good Letter

Be quick. Respond while the issue is still fresh. Ideally, try to send your letter within 24 hours of publication of the article, television program or whatever.

Be clear. If you cannot summarize your message in one or two sentences, it's not clear enough in your mind. Pinpoint in stark, unambiguous terms what you want to communicate.

Be specific. Why was the article, tv presentation or film unfair? Did it show lack of context, imbalanced reporting, or omission of key facts? For example: "Your report inappropriately quoted only skeptical or mainstream psychiatric sources, leaving the healthy-multiple position unrepresented."

Be concise. Most publications will not print a letter to the editor longer than 250 words. And editors tend to publish letters they don't have to spend time shortening. Network staff haven't got time to read a long letter. Shorter is always better.

Be focused. While an article or TV feature may contain numerous instances of bias, focus your critique on just one or two. It's better to fully explain one point than to inadequately cover five.

Know the goal. You want your letter to inspire the media to change. When possible, ask the media to issue a correction based on your points. A good way to end your letter is to ask: "Can I expect a rethinking of your editorial policy on this point?"

Request a reply. Let the media know there is a consequence to biased reporting -- even if the consequence is having to answer hundreds of letters! You could end your letter with: "I would appreciate a response explaining why you have allowed such a biased article to appear in your fine publication." (or on your fine network, etc.)

Stick to the facts. Keep comments clean and respectful. Hostile or overly-emotional language is counter-productive. This is not the place to vent your frustration. Save it for the Hall of Flames.

Use a business-sized white envelope. And if you are out multiple at work, use company letterhead.. Let them know we're not just vegetables in a mental institution.

Never send form letters of any kind: photocopied, mimeographed, carbon copies or even e-copies of someone else's letter will be spotted and tossed. Your letter need not be long, but it must be in your own words. Anything approaching a form letter is easily detected and will instantly give the impression that this is just one person doing all the writing. (And of course, the cynical view of multiplicity is that that's just what is happening.) Your letter should be original. If you write several letters, make each one different.

Some activists feel it's better to write as a concerned individual, thinking that mentioning you are part of an organized campaign may lessen the impact of your letter. In this case, it's better if you say you are involved with Pavilion, because the one thing they think multiples can't do is get it together enough to have this kind of organized action group.

Use the CC button. Maximize your efforts by sending a copy of your letter not just to the editor, but also to the reporter, publisher, and (DEFINITELY) advertisers. Remember, most media outlets really do not care what you think - they only care to know that you are watching. By sending a letter to the sponsor you're hitting the network in the pocketbook, which is what they deserve.

Include contact info. Before publishing a letter, most papers & magazines will call to verify that you wrote it. Remember to include your full name, title (if applicable), address and daytime phone number.

Follow up. When possible, follow up with a phone call to the comments editor to ask if your letter will be published. If the editor doesn't remember your letter, offer to read it over the phone.

Keep us in the loop. Whenever you receive a response to your correspondence (other than a simple acknowledgement), please send a copy of that response along with your original correspondence, to: pavilion at karitas dot net. We can put them in the resource area as examples.

Thanks Bjo.

You can write to us at pavilion at karitas dot net.

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