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How to communicate with the new intake of MPs

Video is the most effective way to make sure your messages reach policymakers

The prime minister may still be scrambling to establish her government, but the formation of parliament continues on schedule today as the process of swearing in our chosen 650 MPs begins.

With 26 MPs standing down this election and 70 seats changing hands, there will be a lot of new faces in Westminster.

It means that there is a need – and an opportunity – to make sure your key messages and ideas are seen and recognised by this parliament's policymakers. Video is proven to be the most effective way to do this. Here's why:

1. Video will hold an MP's attention better

There will be many different groups vying to attract a new MP's attention, so you need to make sure you can present your ideas in the most engaging way. The average web user reads (or more likely scans) just 20% of text on a web page, according to Nielsen Norman Group (2008), meaning sending a PDF or link to a report is not the best way to do this.

Video, because of its ease of consumption, holds users’ attention significantly better. Research by professional video hosting firm Wistia (2016) shows that a video typically retains 70% of its audience after two minutes. So if you have three or four key conclusions to convey to an MP, your chances of succeeding are much better with video.

This animation we made for the Federation of Small Businesses is a great example of how you can present you key asks in an easily accessible format:

2. Video can help you to catch MPs on the go

Increased phone screen size, and improved download speeds brought about by 4G have meant watching video on the move is now increasingly common. So much so that by December 2015 nearly half of all video plays were on tablets and smart phones (Ooyala, 2015).

 

Attracting the attention of busy policy-makers can be tricky, but video is perfectly suited to the task: research by Forbes (2010) showed that 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once per week. Indeed among younger executives (under the age of 40), 30% would select video ahead of text for reviewing business information.

3. Video can help you communicate with MPs on social

There are some very convincing facts to support this. Facebook has a reported 8 billion daily video views, while research by Twitter in 2017 shows that video is the most shared media type on the platform, receiving six times more retweets than photos.

548 of the new intake of 640 MPs are on Twitter, making it a great platform for sharing your messages directly with the policymakers that matter.

While you can share a video of anything up to two minutes and 20 seconds on Twitter, shorter works better for catching people's attention as they scroll through their feed. We can create shorter versions of your video specifically for this task, like this example we created for the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union.

Find our more about how video can help you by downloading our Ebook, 'Five Reasons for Video'.

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