Lobbying provides an essential service in shaping public policy. Lobbyists work to educate, encourage, and influence government representatives to advocate for their clients’ companies, groups, organizations, charities and non-profits.
A Brief Overview
Lobbying is an essential part of the democratic process, and is protected under the 1st Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. It allows citizens to petition the government to address problems, issues, concerns, and desires that impact society. The Lobbying Disclosure Act governs political lobbying. This law was enacted in 1995, and details the responsibilities and privileges of lobbyists.
Lobbying allows those with a common interest to make a bigger impact than they would be able to achieve as individuals. It gives a voice to constituents who might otherwise go unheard. Government processes, operations, regulations, and policies are typically complex and difficult to navigate without specialized knowledge and experience. Professional lobbyists possesses the skills and know-how to accomplish what the novice cannot. They are familiar with the lawmakers, how government works, and the most effective methods of advocacy for their clients. They use this knowledge, influence, and their contacts to develop winning strategies to effect desired changes.
Some Benefits of Lobbying
Professionals in this field work with a wide range of clients, from corporations and non-profits to special interest groups and small for-profit businesses. As such, their goals may differ widely. But whatever the industry or individual cause, the effects of lobbying can have real impact in many ways. Some of these effects are as follows:
- Educating law makers about needed social, political and economic changes through research and analysis of facts and data
- Helping secure government contracts for your company through targeted, personalized advocacy
- Effecting policy changes that help your industry and create important industry-wide standards via regulations, taxation and more
- Motivating legislators to create desired change through policy and law
- Increasing an understanding of social responsibility and advancing policies to help society as a whole
- Repairing bad relationships and negative perceptions about a company, cause or industry
Services Offered By Professional Lobbying Firms
Lobbying firms can help you and your company or organization achieve many goals through congressional lobbying services. The services these firms provide vary greatly depending upon what you seek to accomplish. But, general services include strategizing, recruitment, testimony preparation, vote gathering, advocacy, outreach, communication, and education.
A lobbying firm can recruit congress members to sponsor bills that support your cause or issue. They will meet with legislators and their aides to gather votes and support to further your agenda, and continue with all-important advocacy efforts throughout the legislative process. Other avenues for change include community outreach, educational programs, and strategic communications with key members of government. The role of lobbying in our government and our society is vital to the furtherance of democracy and giving voice to all, no matter how big or small.