Mastering the Op-Ed: From Concept to Publication
Power Lunch Webinar with ACWA


Unlock the power of persuasive communication with CAPIO and ACWA in our dynamic webinar on mastering the art of crafting and placing op-eds. Dive deep into the process that transforms ideas into impactful opinion pieces, from selecting compelling topics to successfully pitching them to editorial boards. During this session you’ll hear from veteran newspaper representatives about key to elevating your agency’s communication strategy and getting out important information to key audiences.

Key Takeaways

  • Writing Techniques: Discover how to distill complex topics into clear, engaging and readable content.
  • Selecting Op-Ed Worthy Topics: Learn to identify op-ed-worthy topics in collaboration with your leadership team. Understand the criteria for choosing topics that resonate with your audience and support your organization’s objectives.
  • Crafting the Op-Ed: Explore the essential components of a compelling op-ed, including background information, problem/solution framing, and the importance of being prepared for revisions and questions.
  • Personalizing the Pitch: Master the art of tailoring your pitch to different editorial boards. Learn how to personalize your approach to increase the likelihood of publication.
  • Timing and PR Perspective: Understand the strategic timing for op-ed submissions and the public relations considerations involved in pitching an op-ed.

Date: July 18
Time: 11:00 a.m. – Noon

Cost: $30 members/ Free for CAPIO Professional+/$45 non-members

This session is good for: APR Continuing Education Unit
CAPIO Certificate in Communications – Media Relations (elective)


Moderator & Speakers:


Melissa Williams

Melissa Williams joined the Modesto Irrigation District (MID) in October 2007. Her role as MID’s Public Affairs Manager includes media relations, public relations, advertising, issues and emergency management, strategic planning and developing and implementing MID’s public education programs. 

Previously, Melissa spent seven years as an account manager with Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn, Inc., a leading public relations and advertising agency in Sacramento. Her experience includes working with such clients as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, the Golden State Warriors, the Sacramento River Cats, The Sacramento Bee, Comcast, SureWest Communications and several financial institutions.

She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from California State University, Chico.

Melissa is active in several utility industry associations and serves as the Communications Committee Chair on the Association of California Water Agencies’ Board of Directors.

Alice Walton

Alice M. Walton, a Vice President at Fiona Hutton & Associates, is a seasoned strategic communications consultant, specializing in navigating the intricate landscape of high-profile clients to achieve ambitious regulatory and legislative objectives.

Alice began her professional career as a political reporter, contributing her insights to the Los Angeles Times, 89.3 KPCC public radio, and the regional wire service, City News Service. Reporting on breaking news taught Alice how to work in fast-paced, high pressure environments; she excels at being calm in the storm. Her extensive background in journalism has equipped her with a unique perspective, allowing her to collaborate on impactful stories with national media giants.

Alice holds a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she distinguished herself as a McCormick Scholar. Her academic journey includes an undergraduate degree in print journalism and political science from the University of Southern California, proudly embracing the Trojan spirit with a resounding “Fight on!”

Tom Philp

Tom Philp is an opinion writer at the Sacramento Bee whose career has spanned both journalism and water communications. He wrote for the Bee from 1991 to 2007, when he joined the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He returned to the Bee in May of 2023. Philp is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and has been a Sacramento resident for 33 years. At the Bee, Philp helps to review and edit op-ed submissions.

Nicky Loomis

Nicky Loomis is the opinion and engagement editor at The Desert Sun. She’s worked for various Southern California newspapers as a reporter and opinion columnist and has also taught journalism to high school students.