What is it?
A meeting with a political (or corporate) representative that has the power to make a change you seek.
How do you do it?
Identify the person you want to lobby – e.g. a local MP, a Minister, or a Chief Financial Officer.
Once you know who you want to lobby, get hold of their contact details by looking online and call their staff team or send an email.
Political representatives are normally happy to meet constituents, and often have times specifically allotted for this.
- Have a relevant ask for them: Can they vote on relevant legislation, lobby the Minister responsible, or commit a budget to your cause? Perhaps they could use their profile to get media coverage?
- Persuade them: Use your storytelling tactic, show them the data and demonstrate how many of their constituents or customers care about your issue. Maybe they have some personal connection to your cause?Ask them!
- Remember – they’re not an expert on your issue but you are! Practice what you want to say with a friend, and go in a group of two or three to support each other.
- Don’t just let them talk – get a commitment: If you let them, they will talk supportively without making any commitments. Politely interrupt and push them to say what they will actually do.
- Get a picture: Take a sign for your campaign and ask them to pose with you to show their support. Ask for permission to use this picture and tag them on social media to make their support for your cause public.
- Follow up to hold them accountable: Contact their office after the meeting to confirm the action promised. If they don’t act within a month or so, follow this up on social media or in the local press.
When to use it?
This is a good tactic to employ as a first step, to show you are willing to speak with a decision-maker your campaign is targeting.
It can also be useful later on to show the weight of support you have built behind your campaign if they are unwilling to act at first.
Works best with: a press release to advertise the meeting and their commitment, or Twitter action to hold them to account if they don’t follow through on their commitments.