Go to: Green Ideas | Home Page
How to lobby our decision makers
Send your letter to the right person, the person responsible for the problem, the leader of your government, your local politician, a company director or newspaper editor.
We provide you with a search engine to find contact details of politicians and companies around the world and an automated lobbying service so you can contact them by mail, fax or email. Use our template letters, edit them or simply write your own.
Short and simple letters are most likely to hold your reader's attention; make your point clearly and succinctly. Don't cram it with facts and figures. Only state your opinion after first outlining the clearly provable facts it is based upon. Avoid sweeping generalisations. Double spacing between paragraphs makes the letter easier to read. If you are writing for the first time about a conservation or environmental issue, keep it to one or maybe two A4 sides. You can always provide detailed information in another letter later.
Focus on the politicians and companies who have the power to do what you require. You will more often get a personal reply if your letter appears to be individually written and if you ask a question or if you specifically ask for a reply. We suggest that you request a reply to your letter. You may also like to consider requesting an appointment with the person you are lobbying. A face to face meeting can be very effective. Always ask that urgent action be taken and specify what type of action is required. Be persistent but sensitive to the person you are lobbying. Too many e-mails or letters may prove counterproductive. E-mail is a valuable tool, use it wisely. Use mass-mail outs selectively.
For every letter actually written to a politician, they know that there are a lot more people out there in the community who think that way but haven't bothered to write. So your letter has a multiplier effect.
If you know a decision on an important issue is about to be made, this is a great time to pick up the phone and call the Prime Minister’s, Premier’s or Minister’s office or your representative. You may not get to speak to them, but you can leave a message with their office staff stating your position. Prepare a one to two line statement before you call and then read it to the person taking the message. Be polite, clear and as specific as possible. Phone calls are treated very seriously by politicians.
Do not harass or personally abuse anyone, any company or any organization. It is illegal and your e-mail is traceable. Do not attack the character of a person - focus on the issue. Unless you have very strong evidence backing you up, do not claim a person or company has been involved in bribes, illegal acts or anything else improper. Be polite but assertive and you will probably get the best response.
Although you may feel very passionate about the issue you are addressing, you should be very careful about saying anything defamatory. Defamation occurs when a statement about a person or company is made lowering their reputation in the eyes of "ordinary members of the community". Adding statements such as "It is alleged" may not be enough to protect you from the possibility of being sued for the damage caused to the person or company in question because of what you said. Even though you may be able to show the statement is true a court process could be costly and could give your cause adverse publicity.