To support this campaign, it is essential we mobilise everyone connected to the industry to write a letter to his or her MP demanding action.
You may have written before and not had a response, or you may be thinking about it for the first time. Either way, the following guidance notes will help you avoid obvious mistakes and get the response you deserve.
You can find your local MP here
You can also download these guidance notes here
Is it worth taking an hour or so to write a personal letter or email to your MP to ask for help? ABSOLUTELY! We need to create cross party support and get the message through. Please put aside 60 mins to write to your MP and get them working for you.
- Get MPs to understand that we cannot work until mass gatherings are allowed
- Explain why we are not covered by the £1.57 billion arts package
- Explain scale of job losses and potential collapse of entire industry
- Ask them to take action to help you
- Intro – Make the first paragraph a summary to grab their attention and add a picture
- Detail – Tell them your circumstances and what you need
- Action – Ask for them to do something specific
- If you do not get a response, try and get a surgery slot with them
- Make it personal
- Tell them exactly what you need
- Include any local data or your own personal statistics.
e.g. I undertook 123 projects in your constituency in the year before lockdown, contributing £123,456 to the local economy and employing 6 local people
- Let them know what local events you work on and that they are at risk of not happening again
- Send a written letter in a plain envelope with handwritten address so it doesn’t look like a business letter
- Keep it short 1 x A4, if there is extra information then use ‘please see attached for details’
- Use a plain, readable font in size 11
- Print out the whole letter and sign it.
- Let us have a copy of the reply by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. All documents received are stored securely and only used in compliance with GDPR. If you want to hide your details in the letter, please blank them out before sending it.
- e-mail a copy to them, but let them know it is a copy
- Attack the MP or their party, this is apolitical, we need them on our side
- Use a template, make it individual
Direct advice from a Conservative MP’s chief of staff
Template E-mail / letter campaigns (or standards as we call them)make little to no difference when lobbying an MP.
MPs’ receive hundreds of emails a day – the only standards that they might get involved with (which is rare) are local issues. Generally, they will not even get to look at template campaign emails or letters.
MPs’ correspondences are always dealt with by staff.
If the group want to make an impact, I would suggest that they encourage the writing of individual emails/letters referencing local people/businesses that are impacted. Personal pertinent letters that make the recipient want to help.
It might even be worth seeking a meeting to discuss it with their MP. However, I would suggest that if they do this, they should nominate maybe two people to attend the meeting – the last thing the MPs’ office wants is five separate meetings about the same subject.