Lobbying is the act of influencing an action, policy or decision that are made by the legislators or members of any regulatory agencies. Many organizations hire a professional lobbyist to help them in various ways. The lobbyist needs to do all the groundwork and research about the institute or the agency that hired them. They must educate the officials and present both the sides of a story to an issue and then influence the officials to choose the best solution for the problem. To become a lobbyist one must have excellent communication skills and knowledge about the institute they are lobbying.
There are various ways in which lobbying can be done; each method has its advantages and challenges.
The following are some of the techniques which need to be used during each approach:
When lobbying needs to be done in Washington D.C, you need to make an appointment with the congressmen you want to speak with and then contact your representatives and senators. Before the meeting, you need to be prepared for what you are going to discuss with the officials. Preparing and sending a memorandum before the conference will make the members of the meeting understand the concepts better. They can get familiarised with what you will be discussing and open up to topics relating to the issue that is presented. Also, gather any material you will need to show in the meeting.
During the meeting, a lobbyist needs to acknowledge the member’s support for preservation and get to the point immediately and must be precise in what he/she is talking. Do not speak things that are not related to the topic. Make sure that the bill number and title are mentioned when the bill is discussed. Being prepared for any questions that are put forth in the discussion is essential and at the same time questions can be asked by the lobbyist to the legislative members. If you are not aware of any inquiry that is being proposed then make sure that you send follow up information regarding the questions that were asked.
After the meeting, a thank you note can be given to the members who attended the meeting. Any additional materials relating to the topics that were discussed can also be presented.
Must be Precise:
When lobbying is done by a letter and an E-mail, it must be precise. Since the officials read a lot of emails every day, they may not grasp the essence of your email if it is too long. Thus, only one issue needs to be discussed per email or letter. The bill title and number need to be mentioned at the top of the page.
When lobbying is done over the phone, the lobbyist needs to be concise, and specify the reason for the call, and the bill number/title should be mentioned. If you have any questions or want to request for any actions, then you can specify that in the call and the call needs to be followed up with a letter or an E-mail.