Hiring a lobbyist can provide strategic advantages in 2024, especially if your business faces regulatory hurdles or legislative challenges.
Lobbyists are skilled professionals who understand how government works. They advocate for your interests and can help you make sense of complex government regulations and explain how policy making works.
It’s a myth that only giant corporations need lobbyists. Groups and organizations of all types and sizes—from trade associations to small nonprofits—can benefit from the guidance and expertise of a well-connected lobbying firm.
It’s also a myth that lobbyists are too expensive for smaller organizations. Some lobbying firms offer tiered pricing and a la carte services to make lobbying more accessible. Just be sure that any firm you are considering has a stellar reputation backed by testimonials.
If your organization has a specific regulatory or legislative goal in mind, hiring an experienced lobbyist can help you achieve it. Here are 10 things a lobbyist can do for your business in 2024.
1: Influence decision-makers
Lobbyists are skilled at engaging with lawmakers, attending hearings, and presenting compelling arguments that demonstrate how proposed policies or regulations can positively impact your business.
For instance, suppose a renewable energy industry association wants to promote tax incentives for clean energy projects. Their lobbyist might collaborate with lawmakers to draft a bill that outlines the proposed incentives, eligibility criteria, and economic benefits. By providing legislative expertise, research, and input, the lobbyist can help create a well-structured and persuasive piece of legislation.
2: Build relationships
One of the most important ways lobbyists help businesses is by fostering relationships with key decision-makers. Lobbyists help ensure your concerns and priorities are heard and considered when important decisions are made.
For example, suppose a tech company wants to advocate for favorable regulations related to data privacy. A lobbyist might leverage their network to schedule a meeting between the company’s CEO and a relevant congressional committee chairperson.
3: Provide expertise
Lobbyists help educate lawmakers on the potential economic, societal, and employment impacts of legislative choices. A lobbyist who understands your industry can be invaluable in explaining key aspects of your organization to policymakers, helping to influence the decision-making process in your favor.
For example, if a group of educators is concerned about the impact of standardized testing on students’ learning experiences, a lobbyist working on their behalf can arrange meetings with relevant legislators or committee members, during which the lobbyist might present important research findings and propose alternatives.
4: Secure funding
Lobbyists have a deep understanding of government funding programs and opportunities. They’re able to navigate the bureaucratic maze and secure financial support for your business, which might include grants, contracts, or subsidies. These funds can be vital for research, development, or expansion initiatives for your business.
For instance, suppose a renewable energy startup wants to secure federal grants for research and development. The lobbyist representing the startup can identify the appropriate government agencies and grant programs that align with their goals. The lobbyist might then schedule meetings with agency officials or congressional representatives who oversee funding allocations for renewable energy projects.
5: Monitor legislation
Good lobbyists are vigilant about monitoring legislative developments and offering timely updates on bills, amendments, and regulatory changes that may affect your business. This early detection and analysis of potential threats and opportunities gives you time to devise proactive strategies to mitigate risks or capitalize on emerging trends.
For example, suppose a pharmaceutical company is concerned about impending drug pricing regulations. Their lobbyist can track bills, committee hearings, and policy proposals related to healthcare pricing and provide the company with timely updates and analysis that allows the company to stay ahead of what’s coming.
6: Mitigate regulatory risks
A skilled lobbyist can help shape regulations to strike a balance between protecting the public interest and minimizing unnecessary burdens on your business. By participating in regulatory hearings, providing expert testimony, and proposing sensible alternatives, they can help you shape regulations in your organization’s favor.
For example, suppose a ride-sharing company is facing potential regulations related to driver qualifications and safety standards. The company’s lobbyist can attend regulatory hearings where these rules are being discussed and provide expert testimony on how the proposed regulations might impact the industry.
7: Shape public opinion
By positively influencing public opinion through strategic communications and PR efforts, a lobbyist can help your brand gain trust and loyalty. This can translate into increased customer support and market share.
For example, suppose a manufacturing company is getting pushback about their environmental impact from an environmental group. A lobbyist representing the manufacturing company might work on a PR campaign that involves organizing factory tours for local journalists to showcase the company’s commitment to eco-friendly practices and job creation in the community. They could also sponsor environmental initiatives, like tree planting or recycling programs, and communicate these efforts through press releases and social media.
8: Access information
Lobbyists often have access to non-public information, including early drafts of legislation, regulatory decisions, and market trends. This privileged information can give your business a competitive edge by allowing you to make strategic decisions and stay ahead of industry developments.
9: Mobilize support
Lobbyists can rally support from industry associations, advocacy groups, and grassroots networks to amplify your organization’s voice and influence. This can help sway public opinion, generate political pressure, and show that there’s broad-based support for your objectives.
Mobilizing support is especially important for nonprofit organizations, who often avoid lobbying due to confusion about the rules for nonprofit lobbying. If you run a nonprofit organization, it’s important to know that lobbying is legal (with certain limits and restrictions) and encouraged.
10: Solve problems
Lobbyists excel at troubleshooting and finding practical solutions to challenges your organization may face. Whether it’s overcoming regulatory hurdles, addressing negative public perception, or navigating complex government processes, lobbyists are skilled at finding innovative ways to overcome obstacles and advance your interests.
Lobbyit: Bringing Access and Transparency to Washington, DC
Lobbyit was founded to make lobbying accessible to organizations of every size. Today we’re one of the top lobbyists in Washington, DC. Our clients range from small associations to publicly traded corporations.
Lobbyit’s outstanding team has an in-depth understanding of how to get things done in Washington. Our groundbreaking business model has helped secure our place among DC’s top lobbying firms.