Write an email to a politician

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It’s quick and easy to send an email or text message. It’s not always the best way to get through to a politician, but some politicians are very tech-savvy, so don't rule it out all together. An MP is often bombarded with emails, including lots of spam. Usually, staff look after this over-flowing inbox, so you need to make sure your email stands out from the pack. 

Send it to the right person

Go for quality not quantity. Don’t send the same email far and wide hoping it will hit the right target. Do your research and pick the appropriate politician to contact. It might be your local member or the Minister/ Shadow Minister responsible for the issue you want to raise. 

Show it’s not spam

Identify yourself early, including:

  • Your full name
  • Role or association within your group
  • Address or suburb

You need to quickly show that you’re someone this politician represents. If it is directly relevant to their job, there’s more chance they’ll read on to find out more about your point of view.

Also include their email address in the To: field.  CC-ing or BCC-ing might trigger the spam filter, which means it’ll go straight to the junk mail folder.

Be formal

That's a big no on the "LOLs" or winky smiley faces. Not all politicians are familiar with modern netiquette, so keep it  formal and straightforward.  Including cute icons will just be confusing and can distract attention from the seriousness of your request.

Write politely, concisely and formally, just like you would with a letter. Run the spell and grammar check over the text. Also, get someone else to look over it and check that it’s clear and easy to read.

Be direct

It’s just too easy to click out of an email when there are 100 more sitting in the Inbox waiting for your attention. Make your point early on, including:

  • What you're after
  • Who’s involved
  • Why it’s important
  • Why it’s relevant to them
  • What you're expecting from them
  • When it needs to happen

Be polite

An email isn’t face-to-face, but that’s no reason to be rude and aggressive. You can be angry and polite about an issue, and it usually gets you further. Show your manners and thank them at the end of the email for their time and consideration.

Don't forget to include all your contact details, not just your email address, so they can follow up with you afterwards.

Follow up

Feel free to follow your email up if you haven't received a response, but give it a little time. Don't stalk them every day with an email asking where they’re at. A politician and their staff have to read, process and respond to heaps of emails every day so it may take them sometime to get to yours.

Links

Electronic Frontiers Australia - How to get politicians' attention
Includes tips for sending emails to politicians.