Engage with your local MP

The term Public Affairs covers a wide range activity, usually focussing on communication with Government and Parliament. The Institution does this activity at its headquarters through briefings, events and meetings. Members also do public affairs on a local and regional level, engaging with Parliamentarians who are in their region or are interested in their specialism.

If you are lobbying your local MP as a member of the Institution, do let the public affairs team at headquarters know via email publicaffairs@imeche.org so we can track Institution wide engagement with Parliamentarians.

The Houses of Parliament

Top Tips for Lobbying Your MP

  1. FIND A CONSTITUENCY ANGLE. MPs are elected to serve their constituents. Try to outline why this will matter to the people that elect them and why it would make a good local campaign
  2. KNOW WHO TO CONTACT. Casework issues, such as immigration or tax problems, are normally dealt with in the constituency office, while legislative and party policy issues in the Parliamentary office. Make sure any correspondence is going to the right office.  Details will be available on the MP’s website
  3. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. MPs are very busy. Know what you are asking them to do at the start. Do not wait until the final paragraph of your letter or the dying minutes of a meeting to blurt out your request. They will know in advance that you have an agenda – everyone does
  4. PROVIDE A GOOD BRIEF. It is impossible for an MP to be up to speed every single issue, campaign and piece of government legislation, so provide them with accurate, concise background material. It is important to find out what they may have already said on the issue. Check their website and Hansard for information
  5. PERSONALISE YOUR CORRESPONDENCE. If writing in support of a third party, such as a voluntary organisation, tailor their standard letter or email. You are not going to convince an MP that you care passionately about an issue if you can’t find the time to personalise your correspondence. Also articulate your case in the lexicon of your MP’s personal politics. Language and tone are crucial. Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, and SNP – they are all different
  6. THINK ABOUT THE PUBLICITY OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE MP. MPs are keen to get out and about, and be seen in their constituency. Don’t be afraid to invite your MP to visit you and your organisation and provide them with good photos for a story in the local paper. You are more likely to get a positive outcome if you have a good relationship with your MP. A successful visit can help build that.
  7. BE CONCISE.  Longer does not mean more effective

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