One of the latest Do Gooder campaigns ‘Birth Rights are Human Rights’ prompted tech savvy Australian politician Penny Sharpe to fire off a blog post,‘5 Tips on How to Lobby a Politician and not be Ignored’, that was critical of some aspects of the campaign.
While we think one of her main points was innaccurate (see below) Penny’s post raises some solid arguments about effectiveness in campaigning, and sparked an interesting debate on and off the comments thread.
Penny offers some excellent advice to campaigners such as Tip #2: If you want your email read and responded to – original is better. *Do Gooder gives campaigners the option to leave the email field blank and we recommend they encourage supporters to either modify the text provided or write an email to their MP in their own words from scratch.
There are also some recommendations that perhaps only more seasoned campaigners are aware of, such as being very clear about what you want the politician at the receiving end to do, and *ensuring that it is something they *can in fact do. *
Penny writes that ‘if you are going to send emails, include where you live’ so MPs know the email comes from someone in their electorate. The Do Gooder campaign which triggered Penny’s blog post was in fact based on our ‘Target a Politician by postcode’ tool, which means that she only received correspondence from people that entered postcodes that matched her electorate. We appreciate Penny had no way of knowing this and are in the process of modifying the email tools to make this more apparent to the receiver.
PS. We love that Penny Sharpe is a tech-savvy politician, communicating with her constituents through her blog and she’s even made this cute video about the importance of deliberative democracy! Nice one Penny.