A new survey of members of parliament has found that the hiring of public relations agencies by charities is the least effective method of lobbying.
As part of its quarterly survey of MPs, nfpSynergy asked 157 MPs from across the political spectrum “to imagine that they worked for a charity with a few thousand pounds to spend on lobbying MPs”. The MPs were then asked to “decide what they would spend that money on, allowing them to select up to three options” from a pre-determined list.
The results of the mini-survey, undertaken in January 2018, show that MP respondents founding “hiring a public affairs agency” to be the least effective method of lobbying, with just 3 per cent of respondents saying they would go down that route.
Next least effective lobbying method was given as “running a fringe meeting at a party conference”, with only 6 per cent of MP respondents saying they would do this if they worked for a charity. Manning a “stand at a party conference” was the third least effective method, with just 10 per cent of respondents.
The most popular lobbying method for MPs “building a relationship with 10 MPs”, which was chosen by 53 per cent of respondents. Half of MP respondents also said they would use their charity’s money to build “a relationship with Select Committee and/or an All Party Parliamentary Group”.
nfpSynergy said the results of this were broadly similar when it last asked MPs the same question back in 2008.
“The popularity of these top two choices, which both involve engaging a relatively small proportion of Parliament, suggests that a substantial proportion of MPs would include a targeted approach in their strategy if they worked for a charity.”
The results of the survey can be read downloaded and read in full here.