Pugliese Associates dedicates a staff member for real-time legislative analysis including bill introductions, amendments, committee and session activity. This support role is a critical component of successful lobbying.
Retired professional ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once explained that the reason for his success was his ability to “skate to where the puck is going to be,” while others skated to where it was.
Success in lobbying is no different. Being able to know or predict with a considerable degree of accuracy where the “political puck” is going to be gives lobbyists an advantage over the competition. Resourceful lobbyists must not only build and strengthen personal relationships; they must also be fully attuned to the machinations of government by acquiring information from a myriad of sources. In-depth and regular analysis of real-time information streaming from state government can be the difference between success and failure. But getting that information is always a time-consuming and laborious endeavor.
Every day, there are hundreds of small actions taking place in the General Assembly and thousands of simultaneous moves within Pennsylvania government as a whole (regulatory and procurement postings, co-sponsor memoranda, committee referrals for bills, new amendments to legislation, live comments during Senate or House floor debate, press conferences and hearing schedules, just to list a handful). But while seemingly small, any one of these singular actions may have very large and significant implications for a client’s interests. And in the midst of a hectic day of legislative action, a lobbyist working on multiple client issues in the state capitol simply doesn’t have the time to track, monitor, and sift through all of this information to find the most important elements.
That’s why at Pugliese Associates, we have a full time staffer, Megan Milford, dedicated to monitoring and analyzing an ever-rising tide of information to ensure we never miss a beat on behalf of our clients. A veteran of Pennsylvania state government affairs, Megan’s knowledge and expertise was tempered over many years in various regulatory and management roles. While her experience is her foundation, she also continuously familiarizes herself with all of our clients’ evolving needs and interests and applies her knowledge to traditional and nontraditional data sources. The end result: timely and critically analyzed information, from a massive corpus of sources, all with an eye to client relevancy. And it gives our lobbying team, as well as our clients, an edge.
AS THE KEYSTONE IS FOR THE ARCH, SO INFORMATION IS FOR A LOBBYIST
For our government affairs operation, Megan maintains a rock solid keystone that links together the stream of real-time information coming from state government and our lobbying team on the ground, working in pursuit of clients’ interests. Her work ensures that our lobbyists can act swiftly in getting to important committee meetings and speaking with policymakers and staff. She scans through hundreds of bill introductions and monitors live events such as committee hearings. Because of her work, Pugliese lobbyists can often identify and diffuse a potential problem before a bill is even introduced, or alternatively, seize and leverage an opportunity to advance a client’s end goals more quickly.
As of this writing, there are nearly a 1000 pieces of legislation at difference stages of the process that Megan is monitoring on behalf of Pugliese clients. Many of these bills have pending amendments which must be analyzed, reviewed for content, and then shared with clients and affiliated interests for consideration and collaborative action. During a single legislative session day, Megan is hard at work monitoring dozens of committee meetings (some announced only minutes beforehand), press statements, live floor debate, and newly introduced bills and amendments. A single action or statement in these hundreds of venues can be critical to any of our 45 clients at any time, which only underscores the importance of her work.
After 36 years of government affairs success, Pugliese Associates understands the value of real-time information and how to use it effectively. This understanding, along with veteran experts such as Megan, allows Pugliese to play to “where the puck is going to be” so that our clients always have the best shot at success.
Click here for Part 2 of “Playing to Where the Puck is Going to Be.”