When it comes to getting influential lawmakers to hear you, there’s only one way to do it right: hire a lobbyist.
Lobbyists do what you and your organization cannot. They have the experience necessary to find the best solutions, they have essential knowledge about the legislative process, and most importantly, they can access the decision-makers who control the process. If these reasons aren’t enough to convince you to hire a lobbyist, here are six more:
“Elected officials are servants of the people; they should just listen to me directly.”It isn’t as easy as people think to land a meeting with an elected official. As much as they want to please constituents, legislators are extremely busy and have many people wanting to see them about many of the same topics. Even if you are fortunate enough to get on the calendar, you may still have difficulty articulating your cause in a compelling manner, keeping your issue on the lawmaker’s priority list or diving into the complex regulatory or compliance intricacies that often lie at the heart of a larger issue. Experienced lobbyists have none of these problems. If results matter, hire a lobbyist.
- Cost Effectiveness.
“We can handle this internally.”Rarely does it make financial sense for an organization to build a presence in Harrisburg or Philadelphia with the sole aim of influencing the outcome of a given legislative, regulatory or procurement measure. It takes more than time to move an agenda; you have to navigate complicated processes efficiently. Experienced lobbyists know the players, the procedures and the history better than an in-house team, and the lobbyists hold the real influence. Lobbyists can truly enhance your efforts and help you build partnerships that last for years.
“My firm and I stay on top of politics. We are informed enough to handle this.”Moods swing wildly in the Capital. Day to day and even minute to minute, it can be tough to keep up with it all. Experience, information and knowledge are the calling cards of the lobbyists, because they are perpetually aware of legislation before the General Assembly. Lobbyists not only know what legislation succeeded and failed in the past, they know why. Knowing what to say is important, but knowing what not to say is critical.
“I have a friend who will get us in front of the right person.”Lawmakers listen to people they trust. In many cases, the most trusted people in the Capital are lobbyists. Why? Not only are they a hub of news and statistical information, they also can provide clear, vetted snapshots of the political landscape surrounding a particular issue. Lobbyists have this information because they have built relationships with staff, agency heads and other key decision-makers. Good lobbyists put these relationships to work for their clients.
“I’ve worked with a legislator in the past, and I know he believes in my cause.”While your personal relationships are certainly helpful, it usually takes more than one conversation with a lawmaker, and it always takes more than one lawmaker to move an agenda. By way of experience, professional lobbyists understand who is in what camp, and why, who can carry the water for a given initiative, and who to avoid about certain issues.
“My Company’s name and reputation can stand on its own merit.”Even the largest and most recognizable companies have professional lobbyists working on their behalf. Successful companies know when it’s time to hand off an issue to a government relations expert. In fact, they often stake their own reputations on the ability of their lobbyist to deliver. Representing a recognizable brand is a tremendous asset for a lobbyist, especially during complex negotiations. Regardless of who their client is, however, successful lobbyists understand that acting ethically and with integrity not only builds trust among those involved, it safeguards their reputations, as well.
There are many good reasons to engage a lobbyist and very few to the contrary. Even the most talented and committed private-sector leaders have difficulty mastering the mazy machinery of modern government. With the support of a professional government relations expert, success for your business is far more likely.
If you need help with an issue or cause, or just want to grow the Government sector of your business, contact Pugliese Associates today.