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Five ways to make the most of a government meeting

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Meeting with a member of government is central to government engagement, and when conducted successfully, such meetings are essential to creating meaningful long-term relationships.   

These are our top five tips for making the most of a meeting with a parliamentary member. 

  1. Be aware of parliamentary proceedings

The busiest time for Ministers is often before Question Time at 2 pm. Issues can pop up at short notice that they may need to prepare for, which may change their schedule. If possible, consider meeting after Question Time, 3.30 pm onwards 

It’s also important to consider that divisions are called frequently in the House and in the Senate, meaning the Member/Senator may have to attend the chamber to vote on a proposal, cutting your meeting short.  

Be prepared with an information sheet or flyer that you can leave with the member or one of their staff to ensure they have time to interpret your key points 

  1. Consider inviting them to your location

If you’re located in the government member’s state/electorate, hosting the meeting at your organisation’s location, as opposed to Parliament House or their electorate office, can go a long way to make their experience memorable and the impact of your organisation clear.  

Touring your site, and meeting the members of your team, as well as the people that you support or represent, can be a great way to demonstrate the valuable work you do.  

  1. Prepare a clear agenda

If your meeting is more policy or budget-focused, ensure you have a clear agenda and consider sending this through along with some key points ahead of the meeting. 

Following the meeting, send through a thank you email and provide summary notes and next steps if there are any, to ensure you are both on the same page. 

  1. Share human stories

Human angles, particularly from people residing in the member’s state/electorate, can make a huge difference to the story you’re telling and how it resonates with your audience. 

Whether you are meeting at Parliament House, the member’s electorate office, or at your organisation’s location, consider inviting some of the people that your organisation supports or represents to the meeting 

  1. Make the most of content opportunities

Depending on your objectives, consider how your meeting can extend to other platforms for increased awareness, such as newsletters and social media posts. If the member is willing, take some photos, and provide them to the member’s staff after the meeting so they can share on their own platforms.  

Some organisations even take a prop or something visually distinctive to meetings for the members to take photos with. 

Fifty Acres is an award-winning agency, with a wealth of experience doing good work for great organisations. 

If you’d like to learn more about how you can make the most of your government engagement, get in touch today at fiftyacres.com.au or email info@fiftyacres.com 

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With over 20 years’ experience in communications, political advisory roles and journalism, Jo Scard is one of Australia’s foremost strategic advisors to corporates, government and not-for-profits.

Jo is a respected former journalist in the UK and Australia working with ITV, Associated Press, Seven Network, SBS, ABC and Fairfax. She has spent over a decade advising corporates and not-for-profits at CEO and board level across strategic communications, government relations and public relations, and co-authored the best-selling book The working mother’s survival guide.

Fifty Acres was established in 2010. We work with government agencies, national organisations, not-for-profits and corporates providing strategic communications, media training, government, marketing and public relations services. The agency has become a market leader in strategic communications and represents some of Australia’s premier brands and not-for-profits – spending 10% of our time on pro bono projects.

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