Why hire a legislative agent?
Because hiring a Legislative Agent (lobbyist) is the single most important step you, your group or your company, can take, when you need to persuade an elected official toward your views.
Legislative Agents maintain the contacts and have the knowledge and experience to bring your issue to key decision-makers, legislative committees, state agencies and municipal government entities. Lobbying isn’t just about contacting elected officials; it is about contacting the right, elected official or agency department head.
The media has brought lobbying to the forefront of how government conducts business. Many legislators take advantage of group’s needs and ability to raise funds through Political Action Committees, or PAC’s, while many lobbyists take advantage of some legislator’s need for campaign contributions. This is not true in every case.
Effective Legislative Agents do not need to rely on political contributions to make an effective point for your issue.
- Always make sure that the lobbying firm you intend to employ believes in your issue.
- Always question a lobbyist’s motive and ability to present your issue, if they ask you to make political contributions to candidates.
A general rule of thumb is, if you do not believe in the candidate’s platform, do not make a contribution, regardless of what a lobbyist promises the elected official can do for your issue.
The most effective way to deal with a legislative agent is to check their references and reputation.
Reasons to hire legislative agent;
- Results - Hiring a lobbyist is one of the most important and effective steps you can take for your group to advocate for your issue. There is no replacement for having representation in the center of political influence, advocating for your interests with a daily presence at the state capitol and city hall. Having a full-time representation builds your credibility and demonstrates your commitment to your issue.
- Cost Effective - Information gathered with real time technologies and the knowing background on stories and issues will help you make decisions with the best available knowledge. Gathering information on who to talk to, where to find them, when to meet them, and what to say, is time and labor intensive and is often not cost effective for many groups or individuals. A lobbyist can have this information in advance of your retaining their services and can advocate for many clients at one time.
How do lobbyists get paid?
- Knowledge is power - and knowing the political landscape is crucial for your organization, company or industry. Political Consultants provide important services such as legislative knowledge, contacts, the skills of negotiations and consensus-building. Knowing which elected or appointed official to contact for your specific issue. Knowing who to communicate with gets results. Knowing people and personalities, party leaders, committee chairpersons and their staff is half the battle. Lobbyists like Affinity Ohio are experts in this area.
- Relationships - A good lobbyist can be counted on to have the relationships and network of contacts through government meeting attendance and membership on local community and charity boards along with good political party participation. Moving elected officials with impassioned pleas requires someone in the presence of legislators, smoothing corners and making connections on your behalf.
- Experience with government process, such as grassroots, net roots political campaign issues, candidate issues helps a lobbyist understand elected officials particular and specific challenges. Whether your organization needs a government grant, a government contract or departmental intervention, an experienced lobbyist understands politician’s obstacles to getting intervention and resolution for your issue.
- Experience with marketing, advertising and/or public relations can prepare a lobbyist for the many ways a client can communicate their message to the public or, elected officials and can assist with you identifying your target audience, as well as assist you with developing your message.
- Lobbying Registration - Depending on what your organization or your position, you might be required to register with the state, local of federal government to meet with elected officials. A local lobbyist will be registered with the level of government you wish to contact. Many times requires a fee and detailed reporting to the government of expenditures on government officials, such as lunch or dinner meetings, travel, entertainment or political contributions. Most individuals do not need to register but a registered lobbyist will know when registration and reporting is required. Learn more here.
- Reputation – Above all an excellent lobbyist has a good reputation in their community and good relations with individuals. A lobbyist with a good reputation, choosing reputable clients with rational issues, charging reasonable rates, can act ethically on their client’s behalf. Lobbyist can make appropriate political contributions and report logical expenditures for meals, travel and entertainment, to regulating agencies while seeking effective action for your issue and helping you achieve your group’s goals.