Postcards and Letters
Writing letters and signing postcards are great introductory campaign tactics as they educate the community on the campaign issues and can generate high volumes of campaign support.
Asking community members to write personal letters to the company is a great way to introduce the Good Neighbour Campaign, get people engaged and to create personal connections between residents and their neighbouring industry.
Although the company may know their actions are impacting their general surrounding community, they likely are unaware of the impact on individual residents and their families.
Personal letters from the community gives the industry the detailed information about impacts that is hard to dismiss, and can no longer be denied, and demonstrates the breadth of community support for the campaign.
When possible, personal letters have the greatest impact, but sometimes using pre-written postcards, form letters or petitions, can be much faster and may get higher participation. This support can be used as tactic to gain media coverage, generate contact information for your supporters, and persuade the target company to meet with the organizing group.
Tips for a Letter-Writing Campaign:
- Create guidelines for the letters to help the community (e.g. who to address the letter to, general tips and suggestions for ‘asks’ and content).
- Make letters as personal as possible; ask community members to their stories, ask their questions and tell the company what they want!
- Handwritten personal letters have a bigger impact.
- Letters should be direct, but not attacking. Although strong opinions need to be heard, the goal is to open lines of communication.
- Letters can be sent in one by one directly to the company, or they can be collected and delivered all at once. Delivering them together can be used as a media opportunity, or a campaign moment to report back to the community about.
Environment Hamilton asked residents and influential community members to write personal letters to ArcelorMittal-Dofasco to ask the company to move towards cleaner, sustainable production. A postcard campaign was added to generate further support. Through distributing both paper and online e-versions of the card, Environment Hamilton and community members generated upwards of 2000 responses.
This campaign helped the group educate community members about current industrial emission levels, supplied the campaign with a list of supporters, and showed the company that there existed a high degree of community concern. Read more about how Environment Hamilton used letters and postcards here.
Read about how the Toronto Atlantic Packaging campaign used Letter writing.
- Environment Hamilton – Letter Writing Guidelines
- Environment Hamilton – Letter Writing Template
- Ohio Citizen Action – examples of letters and drawings sent to a local asphalt plant
Read more about: Community, Letters, Postcards, Resources, Tools