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Tips on hiring a lobby firm

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You do not have to own a big company for you to need the services of a lobbyist. Running a small business can be much easier if you get expert input on regulation, tax breaks, and contracts among other topics. As the intensity and the frequency of legislative activity continues to escalate, the services of a lobby firm becomes more and more important to the success of a business. There are a number of factors that you should consider when you want to hire a lobby firm.

• Experience

The best lobbyist in the business have some experience as an insider. Their experience gives them firsthand knowledge of the legislative process and their advice is based on their specialized experience. Their experience means that they have many contacts who could come in handy in future. Former legislators make excellent lobbyists only if they have the contacts as well as influence.

• Reputation

Search for a lobbyist with a reputation of honesty and integrity. To top that, they should also be trustworthy. Trust is essential for the lobbyist to be effective. Review all their accomplishments and only choose them when you are confident that they have achieved success in more than one area of expertise. Ask for a list of references and ask if they were happy with the services rendered.

• Communication

A good lobbyist should be an excellent communicator. In the world today, they should not just be good communicators in spoken word but also written. During the interview make your expectations about regular communication and updates known. A good lobbyist should help promote your understanding and your participation in the process. Listening is a key component of communication. They should listen to your concerns and understand your goals.

• Other clients

One important aspect of choosing a lobbyist that is often overlooked is the potential of conflicts between you and other clients. To avoid being in such a situation you can ask for a current list of clients. Take your time in considering if your legislative goal is in conflict with another clients agenda. You can also ask how the lobbyist is going to handle conflicts of interest.

• Length of the contract

Take your time to understand the contractual terms of your commitment clearly this includes the length of the contract. Some lobby firms will require a commitment of a year or six months while other firms offer flexibility offering month to month plans. Some also give you the flexibility to switch programs as the needs of your organization change.

When you are looking to hire a lobby firm, a lot of thought has to go into it since it is a big decision especially if it is a small business. What is important is that you should look for a firm with solid reputation and a list of victories.

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