Social media has opened up new ways for constituents to contact their MP, and many are taking advantage of it. We reviewed our offices’ processes and created guidance for MP teams on how to manage communications arriving via different platforms.
Many constituents get in touch with their MPs on their social media accounts, despite being directed to the email address for more formal enquiries. Between May 2015 and June 2016, one of our MPs has received 177 direct messages on Facebook. Thirty-one of these were cases which required investigation.
One office had an effective system which used the following steps each morning to manage incoming correspondence:
The casework management system is linked to the MP’s email inbox and outbox so copies of letters can be saved automatically and transferred into the software for record keeping.
The office also uses blanket template letters, collaborative documents that can be viewed and approved by staff in both parliamentary and constituency offices, a built-in third party and ministerial contact list, and a process for filtering and forwarding cases to government departments, bodies and individuals.