MediaWatchIt Happened On CampusThink About ItWrite About ItSpeak Out

Writing a letter can accomplish
more than you may think!

Putting your concerns into action often supports others feeling the same way.  Starting out with the right attitude, and being realistic about possible outcomes will help you.

Your letter will alert the business or organization that they have displeased a consumer.

Businesses know that negative word-of-mouth or consumer backlash can be lethal, and good businesses address consumer concerns.

That doesn't mean they will change their advertising campaign based on your letter, but a good letter can provide much needed education around important issues.

If you are wondering how much of a difference one letter will make, keep in mind this quote of Margaret Mead:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world, indeed,
it is the only thing that ever has.
"
Margaret Mead

 Tips for Writing an Effective Feedback Letter 

1. Write today. The sooner you make a company or organization aware of the problem, the sooner they can begin to address it.

2. Use your name and address, and request a response.

3. Be specific. Explain the 4 W's: what, when, where and why.

What the media form was (poster, brochure, radio, tv ad etc.), when and where you noticed it, and finally why you find it offensive or negative.

4. If you feel it, say it. If you feel angry tell them, but remember to focus on the specific issues that made you feel that way. The closer you can pinpoint the problem, the better the chance that someone else can understand your point of view and take it into consideration.

5. If there are positive comments you have to make about the organization, product or service outside of your complaint, include them in your letter.

6. From an educational point of view, if you have a suggestion about a more appropriate phrase or representation, make it. It may be that the organization is unaware that they have produced offensive material and they may want to make a change.

7. Send a copy to Media Watch at Western:

U.W.O. Media Watch
c/o Equity Services,
Room 208, Stevenson-Lawson Building,

or

email us at:
mediawatch@uwo.ca.

Please send comments and questions to: mediawatch@uwo.ca
Copyright 1999-2003 Media Watch. All rights reserved.
The University of Western Ontario