If you are in the government relations field, you may have wondered at some point whether you need to hire a lobbyist. After all, there are many circumstances that can arise when it’s beneficial to have someone on your side who knows how the legislative process works and can help you navigate it successfully. On the other hand, hiring a lobbyist is an expensive proposition and may not be necessary or cost-effective in certain situations. Let’s take a look at when it makes sense to hire a lobbyist and when you might be able to manage without one.
Situations When You Need a Lobbyist
If your organization needs assistance with navigating complex legislation or getting its message heard by important decision makers, then hiring a lobbyist is likely the best way forward. Lobbyists understand the rules of engagement in politics and know how to use those rules to their advantage. They also know how to effectively communicate with lawmakers and build relationships that will benefit their clients. A good lobbyist will also be familiar with relevant political issues and how they could impact your organization’s goals. As such, if you need guidance on any of these fronts, it’s probably best to hire a lobbyist who has experience in that area.
On the other hand, if you only need basic information about pending legislation or want advice on relatively straightforward issues, then hiring a lobbyist is probably unnecessary. In cases like this, it may be more cost effective for your organization to do its own research or consult with subject matter experts outside of the lobbying world. Doing so can save time and money while still providing you with valuable information that can help inform your decisions going forward.
The decision whether or not to hire a lobbyist is ultimately up to your organization and what its specific needs are at any given time. In general, if you require help navigating complex legislation or building relationships with key decision makers, then hiring an experienced lobbyist should definitely be considered as an option. However, if all you need is basic information about pending legislation or advice on relatively straightforward issues such as media relations, then consulting subject matter experts outside of the lobbying world might make more sense for your organization financially speaking. Ultimately the choice is yours!