"There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader."
— Alexandre Ledru-Rollin

Every Member of Parliament (MP) cares what people that live in their electorate think, not necessarily because they are all kind compassionate people (some are, some aren't), but rather because every three years they need to show up and ask people to vote for them.

Signs of local organised opposition to them can feel very disconcerting very quickly - most particularly if that organised opposition is sustained - and everywhere!

Taking action around MPs isn't difficult - they want to be seen in their communities, and most of them want to (or at least want to be seen to) listen to the people that live in their electorates.

We can't afford to just continue to be nice, we need to be asking our local MPs why they havent done anything to fix the gender pay gap, what will they do, and when we should expect to see professional wages.

And we need to make it personal and repetitive - so rather than talking about educators as a group, talk about people - "When should I/we expect..." not "When can educators expect..."

Here are some ways you can engage and have maximum impact:

 

Writing a Press Release

writinggroup.jpgYou may want to write a press release or be asked to write one by a journalist you have contacted. There are a few steps you can follow to maximise your chances of the media taking an interest in your story and reporting on your perspective favourably.

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Talking to Journalists

ravmedia.jpg

If you've managed to land interest in your story or an action your centre is taking, here are some tips to follow when you are contacted by a media outlet. Making sure you interact with journalists effectively can a garner a great deal of positive attention toward your cause.

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Contacting the Media

roadsideaction.jpgSpreading the word through Internet, print, television, and radio news outlets is a great way to change minds about important issues. Having a compelling hook, pitching your story appropriately, and ensuring you respond promptly to journalists, can help your story reach a wide audience.

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Letter to Your MP

tanyaplibersek.jpgWriting to your MP is a great way to let them know what issues are concerning their constituents. It can, however, be difficult to differentiate your letter from the large amount of mail and email your MP receives - especially if it forms a part of a bulk petition.

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Centre Visits

kateellis_sophieishmail.jpgFrom time to time, your MP will visit an early childhood centre in your electorate to demonstrate that they are an active participant in their community. If they are planning to drop in at your centre, hold them to task by seizing the opportunity as a platform for starting a conversation about the value of early educators.

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Electorate Events

richarddinatale.jpgMembers of Parliament regularly attend public events for various purposes — parades, infrastructure groundbreakings, etc. These are opportunities to get face time with your MP and make sure they’re hearing about your concerns, while simultaneously changing the news story that gets written.

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Street Stalls and Shopping Centres

shoppingcentreaction.jpgYour MP will schedule regular public appearances in their list of things-to-do. Some of these appearances, including street stalls and shopping centre engagements, are organised so that the MP look as if they are openly canvassing the concerns and suggestions of their constituents. Take this opportunity to tell your MP, in no uncertain terms, that equal pay for early educators is long overdue.

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Electorate Office Visits

julianhill.jpgThe offices of your MP are open for anybody to visit - even without an appointment. You can take advantage of this to stage an impromptu meeting and by showing up with a small group. It is much harder for a representative’s staff to turn away a group than a single constituent.

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