Show Notes

Air Date: 4/18/2023

How To Write, Pitch and ‘Place’ Op-Ed Columns

If you work in public relations, you’re bound to know what “op-ed” means. Even if you don’t, you’ve probably come across one — perhaps without even knowing it.

An op-ed column refers to a piece of written content that is traditionally “opposite the editorial page” of a newspaper. It is an article written by a subject matter expert as a form of commentary, taking a stand on a particular issue and informing readers in the process. Because it is a commentary piece with a particular slant, an op-ed is separate from a news story, which should be an objective piece of reporting (at least in theory).

People in the PR industry understand op-eds — and their value — because they work with clients to draft, pitch and place them. (By “place,” I mean submit an op-ed to a news outlet that then accepts the submission, securing a placement.) Through op-eds, clients can position themselves as thought leaders, leveraging a news cycle to bring their subject matter expertise directly to readers. That thought leadership needs to be legitimate and topical, providing content to the target audience in a timely manner. We call it “newsworthy” in the PR business.

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The article read in this episode originally appeared in Mainebiz in March 2023. 


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