We've all been there. Me especially. You fire off an email to your MP in an attempt to get them to listen to you about an issue you really care about, and you want a response. You want a real response which tells you they've listened, they care and they are going to act.
You expect them to take your side and represent you, just like they are paid to. Right?
But it doesn't always happen.
Our MPs don't always give us the response we're looking for. In fact, sometimes, they don't bother to respond at all.
This is pretty dissapointing experience.
Recently, we've been asking supporters to email their MP to ask them to Turn up and Save Lives on Friday 5 December. MPs have a monumental oppourtunity to enshrine the 0.7 aid target in law and, by putting pressure on them to attend the vote and make this happen, you can play a vital part.
Emails are a great tactic for engaging your MP, but, if they don't respond, or they don't give you the response you were looking for, there are other options going forward. I urge you to keep piling on that pressure through all available avenues.
Here's some of the things I'll be doing to follow up with my, not so development friendly, MP.
First of all, I'll follow up their reply with a letter of my own. Where they have not fully answered questions, I'll raise them in black and white, and make it clear I want some solid answers. If they have skirted any issues, I'll be sure to remind them of my key points.
If I hear nothing back or what I get isn't enough, there are a few other tactics up my sleave.
I might call them and try and speak to them directly. As I'm sure we've all experienced, it's harder to ignore someone when they are chatting away at you. It's even harder to ignore them face to face, so arranging a meeting or turning up at their local surgeries are both great alternatives. If you do want to call or meet with your MP, Progressio can help you prepare, just get in contact with Jenny.
There a couple more public oppourtunities I might take advantage of. Twitter and Facebook are both amazing channels open to all of us where we can connect directly with our MPs and tell them what we want. Why not tweet your MP and ask them to #turnupsavelives right now? It's quick, simple and it shows you care.
Finally, if you're completely out of ideas and you're still not convinced you've ben listened to, why not reach your MP from another angle? If your issue is in the news, as overseas aid is right now, why not contact your local press and tell them your story. You can name drop your MP and mention that you've been trying to get them to listen to you.
I hope you'll follow some of these ideas and make sure you get your MP to #turnupsavelives on the 5 December, together we're so close to making a change that will have a positive impact on thousands of peoples lives, let's not let it slip through our fingers.
Remember, UK aid is crucial to our work. Without it, we wouldn't be able to support people like Hamda Sulaiman in Somaliland. who said, "Before knowing Progressio, I was not able to read and write. My educational development has now moved from non-formal education to university education level at University of Adams, where I studied Business Administration. I would like to continue to a higher level."