Statehouse Partners, a political lobbyist in Utah, is very serious about representing their clients before state lawmakers. They are no different in that regard than any other lobbying organization. But just what is it that Statehouse Partners do? They seek to influence government decision-makers on behalf of their clients.
Lobbying organizations represent all kinds of entities, from individual companies to trade organizations and citizen groups. Thanks to the nature of our representative form of government, we all deserve to have our voices heard at the state and federal level. That is what lobbying organizations provide. The political lobbyist in Utah is the voice of the people in Salt Lake City. A lobbyist in Washington is the voice of the people on a national scale.
There are three ways lobbyists can influence government decision-makers. All three transcend the actual mechanics of lobbying, which is to say they are goals rather than processes. Each one is described briefly below.
1. Educating Decision-Makers
Making decisions in a government setting is never an easy task. Local, state, and federal governments all have to balance the needs of many opposing sides in a way that protects the best interests of as many people as possible. Unfortunately, they cannot please everyone.
This reality dictates that the first thing political lobbyists do is educate decision-makers. Whatever the position they are advocating for, lobbyists must begin by giving representatives a solid base on which to form opinions. In short, decision-makers have to have a basic, working understanding of the topic at hand if they are to make informed decisions.
Lobbyists educate with facts, figures, anecdotal evidence, and whatever else is necessary to form the foundation. The quality of the education provided often determines the success or failure of lobbying efforts.
2. Representing Clients and Constituents
The next means of influencing decision-makers is one of representing the best interests of clients and constituents. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’? Though quaint and potentially outdated, this well-known colloquialism really speaks to the idea of representation.
It is impossible for decision-makers to be aware of the thoughts and opinions of all their constituents without the help of political lobbyists. The lobbyists are there to help decision-makers understand what is going on. They are there to make sure the government leaders know their clients’ positions. They are there to be a voice.
3. Cooperating and Compromising
Finally, political lobbyists are fully aware that it is rare to get everything they want with every decision made. Therefore, they must be willing to cooperate and compromise as they lobby. Even in the rather polarizing political climate we currently find ourselves in, cooperation and compromise go a long way. Decision-makers are very much influenced by people willing to work together.
Whether it’s a political lobbyist in Utah or Washington, DC, the power to influence is one of the things that gives Americans a voice before their elected leaders. Lobbyists provide a vital function our system cannot survive without