“We want to see how the election shakes out before hiring a lobbyist.”
Having spent close to two decades working in government and government relations, I quietly shake my head when people cite the election as a reason to delay hiring a lobbyist. Here are 4 reasons why:
- Even if Trump changes everything, or Clinton wins in a rout, not much will change in Congress. In 2010, Republicans gained 63 seats in the biggest swing in sixty years. That means 85% of Congress returned. Perhaps more importantly, a great lobbyist has great staff connections. Even if their boss loses, the best staffers will still find themselves employed on the Hill.
- The bureaucracy is too big to shift quickly or dramatically. A great lobbyist will have connections in key administrative departments. If Clinton wins, many of those people will stay in place. But even if Trump wins, there are literally too many jobs to be filled by unknown outsiders.
- Congress is setting the 2017 agenda now. While Congress will do little more than honor bison* this year, Members of Congress are already positioning for 2017. If you need language added to an authorization bill or need a member to enter facts into the Congressional Record via a 1-minute speech, you need to be having those conversations now. And if you don’t know what that means or why it is important, a lobbyist will help.
- Grant making never stops. The federal government awards billions of dollars each year through a grant process. Do you know what grants are available? Do you know how to write a proposal in a way that will appeal to a grants reviewer or how to use feedback from past applications to strengthen your next effort? A lobbyist can help, and help now.
Are you considering hiring a lobbyist or not sure where to start? I have been where you are and would be happy to offer advice. While I do not provide lobbying services, I have relationships with firms that do, and can help you find a great connection. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help. But don’t put yourself behind by waiting until after the election.
* Note: The Bison wasn't named the national mammal by accident. More than 50 groups lobbied for the National Bison Legacy Act