Politicians know that the voting population can appear apathetic - and they may be looking for a good local cause - so even two dozen letters about a poorly-planned cycletrack could have an effect Here are a few general guidelines to follow for maximum impact:
- Make sure that as many people as possible feel able to support your cause. Double-check, for instance, that your message is suitably broad and will not antagonise potential supporters either this time round or later on. A petition that targets motorists might galvanise an opposing response which gathers more signatures than you do!
- Ensure that the letters are sent to the right person or department. Nothing infuriates people more than receiving piles of correspondence about an issue that does not concern them.
- Write professional, reasoned, concise and fair text. Avoid ranting.
- Give an adequate but minimal time to get signatures or letters in. Twenty letters in a fortnight is better than three letters a week for two months, but too little time will make your campaign appear to lack support.