Writing a unique and compelling email or letter to an elected representative is a powerful advocacy tool.

By taking the time to write and send your message, you can clearly convey to your elected representative the issues that you are concerned about—and what actions you would like them to take, or what solutions you would like them to speak up for, to address this issue.

For every message an MP or Senator receives, they know that there are many other people in their community who feel the same way as you but just haven’t had the time to write in (yet!)

How to structure your email or letter

Your MPs and Senators get many emails each day, so make your message well-structured and clear—so that your elected representative sits up and takes notice!

Here is a suggested structure for your message:

  • First, briefly introduce yourself, including your name and where you live (so your elected representative knows you live in the area they are responsible for). You might like to also briefly say a little about your identity e.g. a young person, a person of faith, a local community group member, a teacher, a parent, a bushwalker.
  • Second, explain your concern—identify clearly the issue that you wish to address. Remember, MPs and Senators have to be informed about a lot of issues. So be clear on what you are talking about! Then explain why you are concerned about or interested in this issue.
  • Third, ask your elected representative to take action. Tell them clearly and respectfully what you would like them to do about the issue you have raised. This could be to support a particular policy, speak to a colleague in power (e.g. the Environment Minister), or come to a local event to talk more with you and other concerned community members.
  • Fourth, thank them and sign off.

Top tips on tone and email quality

Getting the tone right on your email or letter is an important step to make sure your message gets noticed. It can be helpful to write your message in a few goes. Draft it first, and then read and edit it at least once to strengthen it.
Look back through your message and ask yourself:

  • Is my message personal? Does it sound like it’s written by me and not an exact copy of an email my elected representative receives from lots of other people?
  • Is my message clear? Can my elected representative understand easily what action I want them to take?
  • Is my message polite and respectful? Will my elected representative want to read this message?
  • Is my message concise? Is it short and sweet (e.g. 3-5 paragraphs) so that it’s easy for my elected representative or their staff to see and read?

A few things to remember

Feeling ready to send your email? Use this handy online tool to look up your MP and send your email now! 

You don’t only have to write to your MP or Senator when you have a concern to raise! You may want to thank or congratulate them for speaking up on an issue that is close to your heart, or for taking courageous action. It’s helpful for elected representatives to hear when their community supports the steps they are taking, so they can continue to speak up.

Your elected representative will most likely reply to you, even if it takes a while! And even if you don’t hear back from them for a while, remember that even reading your email or letter gives them a sense of the issues their community care about.

You are welcome to follow up on your original message to start a conversation with your elected representative. You could send a follow-up email, give their office a phone call, drop by their office or request a meeting to talk further.

Thank you for speaking up for our living world!


Phoebe Rountree

Mobilisation Coordinator at Australian Conservation Foundation