Lobbying is often a word that many industry sectors find daunting. It is an extremely difficult world to navigate unless you have specific and prior knowledge. That is why much of the lobbying around the world is carried out by specific lobbying firms. To define the term, lobbying means to influence a business or government to pass or restrict legislation in order to help your company. Lobbying is something which can be carried out by many different industry sectors, parliaments, charities, individuals and of course businesses. Lobbyists work to persuade the opinion of decision makers in many different ways.
There are many different industry sectors that lobbying firms can operate in, from lobbying parliament to lobbying for business. Due to the extremely complex political world that lobbyists operate within, their strategies differ depending on the industry sector. A lobbying strategy is a tactic, or plan of action that a lobbying firm constructs in order to ensure their objectives are realized. These tactics vary depending on the political system the lobbying firm is working with. The different types of lobbying tactics that firms may use could be:
- Ballot Proposal- A ballot proposal is where the lobbyist brings in public opinion in order to try and sway the opinion of the decision makers.
- Debates- This is a common tactic to use if the lobbyist feels that there are certain decision makers who are on the fence surrounding some topics.
- Using the media- Vying for attention through the media can be a controversial lobbying tactic; too much attention can cause a public debate that can have detrimental impacts. However the correct amount of attention can really help persuade decision makers.
- Persuade other lobbyists- In the world of lobbying, it is often said that it is more about who you know than what you know. Building relationships and being able to assess the correct time to use them is a crucial tactic that most lobbyists implement at some point.
- Use back-bench politicians- One tactic that is often used by lobbyists is to create a large following of backbench politicians. It ensures that when it comes to legislation being passed, there is a large following of back bench politicians who will be able to persuade key decision makers.
Lobbying and public relations are two things that are extremely closely linked as one can have a large impact over the other. Therefore, it is crucial that lobbying tactics that are chosen to be used are suitable for the business in question and the effects that these tactics could have on the business are closely analyzed.