Overcome the Challenges of Being a Professional Lobbyist

February 13, 2014 by Crescerance

Of all the professions to enter, the job of a professional lobbyist can be one of the most challenging. If you look at it from purely the revenue generating side, a lobbying firm needs to find clients that want to pay to have someone represent them at the state capitol, and not all businesses need that type of representation. Secondly, depending on your clients, you may have to work on a few bills or a have wide scope such as all education legislation or all health care legislation. Finally, as a professional lobbyist it is unlikely you can feed your family with the business from one client, so you have to win business from several clients to make a living. How can you make tracking legislation easier and improve client communication to offer more value to your current and prospective clients?

Let’s say you are successful at winning the business and you collect 5 to 10 clients. Now the challenge is tracking legislation for a set of clients with interests. One client may be interested in one set of bills while another client is concerned with an entirely different set of bills. Most legislative tracking software systems will let you tag bills, but it still means that at the end of each week you have a big list of bills that you need to organize and send to your clients.

Capitol Impact takes a different approach to legislative tracking for professional lobbyists. Our state legislative tracking system is a website that both you and your clients can use. The system lets you create a legislative folder for each of your clients, enabling you to assign login credentials so that each of your clients can log in to review their bill folder. This gives you the ability to track a bill and assign it to as many clients as you want.

The Capitol Impact approach is based in trying to improve the way you communicate with clients without increasing your workload. On each piece of legislation, you can write private comments to each client. If a bill is important to one client and on the periphery for another, you can add private comments that are relevant to each. You can also add global comments to explain a bill to all clients.

Additionally, your clients can send you back their input on any bill. Each client has a single button they can click on each bill that will enable them to add their private comments and send them back to you. When you look at a bill as the system administrator, you can see all the comments made on a bill or get a list of bills and comments for a date range. With the system security, your clients cannot see comments other than your global comments to all clients, so there is no risk of having one client see comments from another client.

Finally, at the end of each week when you send your clients the news from the capitol, you have built in tools to create the email to send to each client. Each client is stored in your legislative people database that comes with the system, so you can send each client a private email and a link to let them log in to their bills to get the most current information on the bills you track.

For professional lobbyists, Capitol impact’s state legislative tracking system saves staff time and makes your firm look more professional in how they maintain a presence in front of the clients.  And if you have several lobbyists in your firm working for clients and are paying for multiple seats to your current state legislative tracking system, our system saves you money with one license that serves both staff and clients.