MacKay Hannah

How to get your message across to government and MSPs and comply with lobbying rules

Wed 27th Oct 2021

OVERVIEW View Webinar Agenda

Organisations in the public, private and third sectors all need to be able to communicate effectively with government and MSPs.  Often that communication can go badly due to misunderstanding of how government and MSPs work.  In a post pandemic world many voices will be seeking to influence what happens next.  Will yours be heard?

This webinar explains what makes MSPs listen, how to communicate with government and how to campaign while complying with lobbying rules.  The webinar examines how, when and where policy is made and decisions taken.  What influences the decision makers?  Where and when should you seek to intervene? How can you best campaign effectively?  What do you need to know to stay within lobbying rules?

Whether your interest is in legislation, policy, or spending, understanding how, why and when decisions are taken is critical.  The webinar will discuss what you need to know about communicating to be heard at the highest level. It is intended as a guide on delivering your insight to government and MSPs.  It will explore the relationship between government, parliament and politicians and explain how decision making can be influenced.

Jackie Baillie MSP will discuss the role and activities of MSPs and what makes them listen.  Martin Dorchester will reflect on communicating effectively with government, based upon his own experience of doing so in senior roles in different sectors.  Lynda Gauld will review campaigning, influencing and complying with lobbying rules, activities she has conducted in depth during her professional career.

Key points

  • What makes MSPs listen?
  • Communicating effectively with government
  • Campaigning, influencing and complying with lobbying rules
  • Being clear on your purpose, your message and your objective
  • Understanding how government works
  • Instruments of influence: briefings, meetings, parliamentary process and media
  • Civil servants advise, ministers decide: who do you need to reach?
  • Compliance and good practice in observing lobbying rules


Jackie Baillie MSP

Member of the Scottish Parliament

Lynda Gauld

Director, Baccus Consulting

Martin Dorchester

Chief Executive, lncludem

Donald Anderson

Director, Playfair Scotland

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Annual City of Edinburgh Council Conference 2016