How not to lobby an MP

As a Member of Parliament, I am used to receiving letters from companies and lobby groups asking for my support for a particular campaign or policy change. Many employ sophisticated techniques to grab your attention, they also spend a lot of money in trying to publicise their views.

Therefore, it was a surprise to receive a sloppy, almost inept approach, from the Travelodge Hotel chain. My first contact from them was via a news report in the EDP, supposedly publicising a letter urging me to do more to support tourism. The only problem was I hadn’t received any communication from the company. You would think they would double check I had received the letter before firing off a press release.

When I eventually received the letter, after four requests to their headquarters, it was a model of how not to do something properly. Firstly, it was addressed to “Dear outside of London MP”. Then it referred to the “x number of our hotels in your constituency” and how they can create jobs in “[MP’S Constituency]” Quite clearly this was a round robin letter that they couldn’t even be bothered to fill in the blanks.

Additionally, if they had done the most basic of research they would know that I have a constituency with a big tourist sector. As such, since my election I have consistently asked questions in the House of Commons, met with tourism ministers and hold regular briefings with local tourism providers. Over the last two years I have met with numerous tourism related bodies and companies. Only last week I met the Secretary of State to discuss tourism in Great Yarmouth. This week I have met the Local Enterprise Partnership to discuss Norfolk wide tourism , attended a meeting of the Broads Tourism Group with fellow Norfolk MPs

Perhaps, rather than run an inept publicity campaign they should be looking for a new PR company to advise them.

You can see the letter sent from Travelodge here.