Communicate

Improve communications with your MP and candidates.

Sharing with your report of people’s comments in the kitchen table conversations is a good way to improve trust and understanding. Invite the candidates to respond to the report, and their response (or lack of it) will show how willing they are to engage with the community on matters important to constituents. It is vital that communication is a two-way process, and that both parties listen and are open to changing their views.

An MP’s communication with constituents needs to be multi-pronged and tailored to the forms of communication that different constituents are comfortable with. For example, former Indi MP Cathy McGowan’s forms of communication included a newsletter, videos, social media, a website, postal surveys, and various forms of face-to-face contact with constituents, such as ‘listening posts’, where she would hear whatever constituents wanted to share, and kitchen table conversations. She ran ‘budget impact tours’, coached people on how to engage with the political system, and arranged for groups of constituents to spend time with her in Canberra.

> How can MPs and constituents communicate better

> Suggestions for your group’s communications with other constituents