The value of lobbying is influence. That is to say, through gaining a favorable outcome for an interest group. As a result, a variety of such groups exists in leading capital cities around the world. Therefore, spending large amounts to gain access with elected representatives, lawmakers, and the government at large.
The Value Of Lobbying and Roles
- Lobbyist: Defined by employment or payment to advocate an interest.
- Interest Groups: Defined by the shared interest in advancing a common goal
- Organizations: Creating influence largely through political donations
- Political Action Committees: Controlling political donations / corporate money.
- Revolving Doors: Individuals who open doors to key decision-makers
- Shadowy Groups: Working for Big-Business and Wealthy individuals spending to influence
Difference Between Advocates and Lobbyists
Advocacy is arguing in favor of a cause or idea. Be it environmental protection, minority rights, or the myriad other issues that affect people every day.
There is no limit to the amount of advocacy a person or organization (such as a nonprofit) can do.
- Telling a member of the law-making assembly how a policy affects constituents
- Using social media to get the word out about a cause/issue
- Meeting a government official to explain how a problem/issue is affecting a particular group or organization, etc.
Lobbying is an attempt to influence a politician or public official on an issue. Such as:
- Asking your elected representatives to vote for or against, or to amend or introduce, particular legislation
- Writing to members of your group. Asking them to contact their elected representatives in support of or opposition to legislation or pending regulations
- Generating an online petition asking members of your organization (direct lobbying) or members of the public (grassroots lobbying) to contact their legislator(s) to support or oppose particular legislation
While industries differ in nature, common strategies exist across the spectrum of lobbying. Some of my favorite ones include:
Many story angles need to be pitched months in advance for media coverage. For example, newspapers, broadcast, and digital publications through PR. Also, identify the spokesperson in advance would help communicate the cause effectively.
Plan at least 6-9 months calendar of leading to interaction with stakeholders. Include lawmakers on your mailing list for newsletters, and make sure you are on their mailing lists, as well. Ask your political representatives to state their views.
Conduct diligence on intentions and tones.
The 20 Minutes Rule
Take 20 minutes of your time to contact a lawmaker by letter, phone, e-mail, office visit, etc. That is all you need to communicate effectively in a meeting with someone.
Get to the point fast, and focus on your issue. Assess what you can realistically achieve now, and work on the rest later.
If their position agrees with yours, ask what you can do to strengthen that support and how you can get others to help support them. If their stance is different from yours, ask what information or show of public support is necessary to change that position.
The goal is for your organization and its purpose to be increasingly recognizable, memorable, and impactful from one year to the next. Therefore, provide advocates with social media toolkits recommending content, timelines, and visuals, but keep it flexible enough for them to use their tones and voices.
“Why is this cause important to you?”
The Good Loser
Don’t burn bridges. Moreover, be patient. Remember that legislation, regulation, and governments take months if not years.
As a result. Write a thank-you note to the decision-maker. However, the outcome.
Furthermore. You are investing in the future. It is almost always the way it works.
The Numbers Game
Remind your legislators how many people share your position.This activity raises their authenticity in support of the messages you want legislators to hear loudly and clearly.
Likewise.Invite lawmakers to your locations to listen and meet with people. Make it an invitation-only event.
In conclusion. The value of lobbying is in numbers.