November 2, 2008

How to: Meet a MP

Somehow I have managed to get meetings with a few MPs so I might was well share some of my thoughts on how to get meetings. If anyone knows of a actual how to guide or have additional pointers please post it in the comments.
  • Have some thing in writing and send it in before hand
It is best to have your thoughts in writing and send it in before hand. It organizes your thoughts and it will help prepare the MP for the topic your about to discuss. It is especially important for topics that are very specific or not popular.
  • Make phone calls
It is better to make a request for a meeting by phone call instead of e-mail. I prefer to catch a person and not go to voice mail which means phoning during business hours. I also try and reference the piece of writing I sent in before hand. Remember, the receptionist is your friend so be kind.
  • I believe that (my/every) MP should understand the effects of copyright legislation
This is my favorite line to use because I believe it and it gets passed the "I will pass your concerns onto..." line. As well, being the proactive person you are, you already did pass on your concerns to the person they suggested. Way to go.
  • Be flexible
Seriously, MPs are busy people. If you have to wait 2 months for a meeting that is ok. Just ask the receptionist, your new best friend, when is the best time to phone back for a meeting. MPs set aside time to come back from parliament and meet with their constituents so take advantage of it.
  • When in doubt do your best and be kind
Just the fact you took your time and are polite is usually enough to meet a MP or, at the very least, for the MP to seriously read your letter.

That is what I have figure out so far. Not bad considering I had nothing to go off of in the beginning.

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