Considering the fact that government policies can have a significant impact on the business community, it is only fair that the business community has the chance to present their arguments about the potential negative impacts caused by certain policies.
The business community in that case uses all the tools at their disposal to approach political and social stakeholders, influencing optimal decision making and public policy.
Lobbying refers to representing certain legitimate concerns of special interest groups before members and stakeholders of the political sphere or the legislative branch. It is also employed to influence public opinion. Lobbying is the effort to establish contacts and relationships with decision makers in various social fields, to ultimately present your case so they make informed decisions.
For lobbying to be successful, you need to determine what can be realistically achieved, and moreover, what goals are defined – goals which cannot go against the public interest.
We will list the two most general goals of lobbying:
- To inform the public about (your) company’s or organization’s arguments, and likewise to gain insight into the stakeholders’ arguments
- To secure a level playing field for your entire industry segment, association or other subjects “level playing field”)za cjelokupni segment industrije, udruženje ili neke druge subjekte
However, for your lobbying goals to be successfully implemented, you need the help of top experts. Lobbying is by no means an easy task; the lobbying profession is a legitimate and integral part of the democratic political process. Lobbyists need to have strong communication skills and extensive knowledge of the industry they are representing, plus the legislative and regulatory processes involved.
- Legislative Lobbying – targets law proposals or relevant procedures
- Business Lobbying – targets new business opportunities and markets
- Political Lobbying – targets stakeholders or institutions for support in various projects
- Image-Building Lobbying, by an institution, company or individual
- Other types of highly specialized lobbying – lobbying for special permits, etc.
*The Olsen lobbying matrix explains the situations where companies opt for individual or collective lobbying.
A company opts for individual lobbying if the challenge it faces is critical for their business and they do not have potential partners for coalition. On the other hand, when multiple companies are faced with the same challenge, some form of collective lobbying is usually more appropriate and effective.
Being thoroughly acquainted with all involved stakeholders and related processes will help you recognize the correct timing and opportunity to present your arguments. Stakeholder analysis correlates the stakeholder’s opinion or interest for your desired issue to their power to decide on that issue. Furthermore, key stakeholders are those who have the highest amount of power and interest.
Forming a coalition allows certain stakeholders, who have little individual power or influence, to significantly improve their influence through larger numbers. Also, keep in mind that within every stakeholder group there are people who are easy to work with, and those that are more difficult to convince or form alliances with.
A good stakeholder analysis is one of the factors crucial for a successful lobbying campaign.
Get in touch with us and together we will approach the challenges you face that require expert lobbying or advocacy.
- *Thomas C. Lawton, Jonathan P. Doh, and Tazeeb Rajwani: “Aligning for Advantage: Competitive Strategies for the Political and Social Arenas”