Media Watch Letter-Writing Guide
How to write a letter of praise or criticism
When you see something on television, in a movie, or in print that pleases or offends you, you can have an effect by writing the company a short note. Here are some guidelines for writing such letters.
1. Be specific about the program, idea, words, or images which you found pleasing or offensive.
2. Write clearly and come to the point quickly. A short letter is more likely to be read.
3. Don’t use sarcasm. Clearly state your opinion.
4. Tell them how you feel about what you saw or read and what kind of negative or positive effect you think it might be having on people who watch it.
5. It can be helpful to send the letter from your whole family, and to tell the corporation or media organization that you all discussed this issue and agreed on your views.
6. It is also a good idea to say that you use their products, or that you watch the program regularly. They like loyal customers and they care about how such customers feel.
7. Remember that positive comments about programs which educate or foster healthy attitudes can be as effective as or even more effective than criticisms.
8. If your comment is negative, and you were offended by what you saw, ask them to get back to you and tell you what they intend to do about the problem.
9. If you want, you can send your letter by E-mail, but it will not have the same power. It is easier for people to send E-mails, and some experts estimate that one written letter is worth one hundred E-mails.
10. Please send a copy of your letter to us at: MediaWatch, Council on Size & Weight Discrimination, PO Box 305, Mt. Marion, NY 12456. (You can also fax it to us at 845-679-1206 or E-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Dear XYZ TV:
The members of our family are regular watchers of “The XYZ Show”. We especially liked last week’s episode (July 1, 2016). The character who was the romantic lead was a plus-size woman instead of the usual super-thin actresses. It made us feel good about the positive messages your programming is sending to our children. Thank you for supporting diversity and for portraying life as it really is.
The Smith Family