Chelsea Roberts

  • published Writing to MPs in MP Engagement Groups 2019-02-08 11:05:40 +1100

    Writing to MPs

    Why write?

    The word from insiders in MPs’ offices is that letters and emails are taken very seriously – and counted! For everyone who takes the time to raise an issue with them, they know there are many more people who feel the same way. If they receive lots of correspondence on a particular issue, it will be discussed in policy meetings and can have an effect on decision-making.

    MPs are supposed to respond to all communications from their constituents, but they are much more likely to sit up and take notice of a personal email or letter as it shows their constituent cares enough to take the time. And it doesn’t matter if it’s an email or handwritten letter - they all count.

    You don’t have to be an expert. Keep it short (a page or less) and personal. Write what you feel. Explain why the issue matters to you and what you want your MP to do about it.

    How to do it: 

    General tips (based on feedback from MPs and staffers)

    1. Put your letter in the main email window - don’t send it as an attachment!
    2. Keep it short - one issue per letter is good
    3. Include an “ask” - a request of what you want the MP to do (see this article)
    4. Don’t agonise over the wording:
      1. The word from politicians and staffers is it’s quantity (not quality) that counts
      2. Your MP probably won’t read your email/letter themself - it will be a staff member in their office who will scan it, count the number of letters they receive on particular issues, and present a summary of correspondence to the MP
      3. The more correspondence they get on climate issues, the more seriously they will take them

Chelsea Roberts

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