Targeting tweeting MPs

Save the Children UK made the most of publicly available data, and their own supporter information, to target MPs active on Twitter for their Hunger campaign. Jana Mills explains.

As part of an action week on the campaign we wanted to ask some of our campaigners to tweet @ their MP to ask them to push David Cameron to sign our Charter to End Extreme Hunger.

We wanted to be able to just send to subscribers whose MP is on twitter and send them each a link to tweet directly at their own MP's handle, so we needed a list of MPs on twitter with their handles and ideally their constituency .

Getting the data

We used Tweetminster's list of Tweeting MPs, turned into an XML feed using the twitter API (data lists the list members not tweets)

Then there was some leg work turning this XML into a coherent list and come up with an appropriate match field so that we can match MP's to our subscribers.

What we did

We sent 8000 emails to a segment of our campaigns list that had recently taken an online action (East Africa - email your MP to ask David Cameron a question at PMQs) with this Twitter follow up.

We appended MP data to the data-set so that we could send different messages to subscribers whose MP is on twitter and those that weren't, and a subset of those whose MP was tabled to ask a question.

We pre-filled a tweet using Twitter's web intents interface with a message @ the campaigner's own MP to those whose MP was on Twitter and @ number10gov to those whose MP wasn't.


Over 350 tweets were sent. Our social media person reckons that about 160 were uniques excluding staff and other organisations.

Mark Lazarowicz MP was contacted by at least 8 of our campaigners. He did ask the PM the question in the session - though I'm sure that wasn't just down to our little email!

In future It'd be great if we could buy in social intelligence data so that we could only send to subscribers who are on twitter which should improve the click to open rate - and would be great to give the rest of the list a call your MP ask with a call-link with their MP's phone number and a short script directly in the email.

MP list – community resource

This is what we came up with, which we're happy to share as a useful resource for the ECF community. It's open for edits so please feel free to update it - add new columns for phone numbers etc. as you want. If you use it, please add information about who you are and what you used it for, and explain any additions, updates or other changes you've made. UK MPs on Twitter by constituency

Jana Mills is Email Marketing Executive at Save the Children UK.

by Jana Mills published Mar 26, 2012,
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