Tips on composing letters to elected officials, government agencies,
or organizations you wish to influence

Anyone who is suggesting or campaigning to protest should encourage that protestors create their own letters and form their own subject lines within the e-mail.  Organizations take e-mails with the same subject and content much less seriously than unique emails. US senators often consider hundreds of emails with the same subject line or body as one single complaint.  There is a process involved in constructing an effective e-mail of complaint. You may use the suggestions when asking people to take action.
I encourage organizations to post sample letters because there are many people who might feel that they are unable to compose their own e-mail.  However, suggest that your members or recipients use the letter as a guide and as a last resort to cut and paste the content, but always have the senders create their own subject lines.  Perhaps it would be good even to post several letters and several examples of subject lines.
1. Subject lines should be unique, concise and include key words.
2. Subject lines should be written in lower and uppercase letters - never use all caps.  All caps is the equivalent of yelling and hostility and therefore the recipient may disregard it.
3. The body of the e-mail or letter should be unique and concise.  For example if someone has a personal experience that makes this situation hurtful, they should include that experience in their letter without making their experience overtake the intended message.  The experience can be one or two sentences but should not be one or two paragraphs.  The latter is appropriate for op-eds in newspapers but does little to get the message across in letter-writing campaigns.
4. It should explain why the sender is writing the letter in the first paragraph. 
5. It should include positive statements as well as address the issue.
6. It should include actions that the sender would like to see take place (reasonable actions - include your best-case action and your at the very least recommendation).
7. It should conclude with bridge-building, positive, forward-looking statements (when possible).

Thanks to Samaha Imamovic for this advice.

Easy ways to write your representatives

Roger Lippman's Home Page