Meeting with your local MP is an important step you can take to make your voice heard on important issues that affect you, your family, and our shared community.
It is the job of every member of parliament to represent their local community. You have the same right as anyone else to speak about issues you care about with your political representative.
The below guide will help you get the most out of your meeting and ensure your representative clearly understands your concerns.
- Send your MP a Make Renting Fair factsheet outlining your key points and pertinent facts and figures before the meeting and bring hard copies with you on the day. This is an effective way to ensure that your message receives further consideration.
- Your MP may have a staff member with them, so make sure you take additional copies of any documents you plan to refer to.
- Write a few notes for yourself, outlining your key points and other facts and figures you want to use. Alternatively, you can simply use a copy of the document you have prepared for the MP.
- However, don’t write out a speech which you then ‘read’ to the MP. A meeting is a conversation – be present and engaged.
Make a good first impression
- Start by introducing yourself and thanking your MP for taking the time to meet with you.
- Remember to speak clearly and audibly and maintain eye contact.
- It’s great to be passionate, but balance this with politeness.
Tell them exactly what you want
- Tell your MP you want them to commit to supporting the Make Renting Fair campaign, and in your own words, why – this is where you share your story.
- However make sure you are brief and to the point. Typically a meeting with a politician is only half an hour.
- Your MP might be completely new to the issue you are raising, or they may have been working on it for years.
- You should tailor your message to your MP’s level of knowledge.
- If they have a good understanding of the issue, skip over the basic background information.
- Listening carefully will provide valuable insights into the political process.
- Your member may disagree with what you’re saying, even once you’ve stated your position and spoken about the issue. That can be frustrating, but remember to be respectful.
Leave a lasting impact
- When the meeting comes to an end, regardless of how successful it has been, take the time to thank your MP once again for meeting with you.
- Ask for the business cards of any staff present at the meeting.
- Indicate that you appreciate their time and would be happy to meet with them again in the future.
- Get a photo with the MP that you can share on social media
- Send the MP a thank you email in a few days
- Keeping this relationship is critical to long-term dialogue on this important issue.