In heavily contested constituencies, most sitting MPs have a good website. That’s part of the reason that many of them were returned in 2010.
But how many MP’s websites help them to step up the quality of their work as an elected representative? Speaking to MP’s researchers (having shared an office with an MP’s team for a number of years in the 1990s), it’s obvious that they get a great deal of correspondance and phone messages that could be handled more efficiently. Solving this problem would help the over-worked MP’s offices – and ensure that constituents are more satisfied with the way their enquiries are handled.
In the case of Teresa Pearce MP, a system to help this happen is now in place. If you go to the contact page there and type in a postcode that’s within the constituency boundaries (try DA8 3EX for example), you will then be offered a number of options to direct your enquiry more appropriately. If you type a non-constituent postcode, you will be directed to a page that has your own MP’s contact details on it.
Many of the people who contact MPs would be better advised to start somewhere else before raising the matter with the MP. If they’re not constituents, or the issue would be better addressed by the local authority (for example), a prolonged exchange with a particular MP can only increase dissatisfaction on all sides.
For this reason, we’ve developed the MPContact System – a postcode tool that helps to determine who your MP is – and which part of their website can help you the most. Where constituents decide to make contact with their MP, the information is captured in an easy-to-manage electronic form so that it can be imported into a casework system or used for mailmerge purposes.
Here’s a broad outline of what an effective information flow for an MP’s website should look like (click to enlarge):
Would you a similar system for an MP that you know? If so, please contact us for a free quotation.