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Tips for Action Letters, Phone, and Email

Letter Writing Tips

  • Keep to one point in your letter.  Get to the point immediately in the first paragraph.
  • View an example of an action letter here.
  • Always be respectful, even if you dislike something that your recipient has done. Never make threats.
  • If you are writing about a specific decision, bill, or situation make sure you identify it in the first paragraph of your letter or email.
  • Briefly state your personal interest in the issue. Include legitimate facts. Be careful not to rant or exaggerate.
  • Make sure you ask the recipient to do something—a specific call to action—at the beginning and again at the end of the letter.
  • Write to government officials (local, state, federal) who represent your city, county, and state.
  • Prior to writing your legislators, check their position regarding a bill or issue. Do they already sponsor the bill? Did they vote for or against it in committee? Do they support animal issues in general?
  • Check the status of the bill.  Did it already pass, or fail some time ago?
  • If you are writing to a corporation, make sure you have the correct name of the chief executive or president of the corporation.
  • When writing to an organization, let them know of your connection to their product or service; for an example, you’re a member or customer.
  • Not all letters need to address what the business or agency is doing wrong. Writing letters to organizations and legislators to thank them for taking a certain action encourages humane decision-making.
  • Always use proper forms of address.

Phone Tips

  • When making a phone call to express your thoughts on an issue, it’s often helpful to have an outline of your main speaking points.
  • Keep phone calls brief. An effective phone contact can take place in a two-minute phone call.
  • Main points should include who you are, whether you support or oppose a certain issue, a brief statement as to why you support/oppose the issue, and the action you wish your representative to take.

Email Tips

  • Email is a more informal mode of communication. Often you can send a representative, CEO, or other official a message quickly via a form on the organization’s website.
  • When composing an email from an address, use proper capitalization, punctuation, and correct spelling.
  • Follow the same format you would employ in an actual letter.


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