Habits of the Credible Lobbyist – Please Add Your Advice

The scourge of lobbying novices is “disrespect for the ill-formed,” 61 of whom were waiting for the Lobby School I would teach momentarily. “Habits of a Credible Lobbyist” was well-received but last-minute.

For the good of our profession, please help make it better by adding your advice or deleting mine. The final Habits list will appear on the Lobby School Free Resources page in format similar to 27 Fundamentals for More Effective State Government Affairs, also on the Free Resources page.

  • Use breath mints!
  • Register as a lobbyist when required. (Check ethics rules)
  • There are no innocent gifts, only legal and illegal ones.
  • Don’t presume a lawmaker or staff knows ethics rules. It’s your job to know to protect them and you.
  • Assume listeners don’t know what bill “SB # xxx” is; include title and sponsor.
  • Expect lawmakers or staff haven’t read the bill you’re there to discuss.
  • Have a good reason ready why a particular lawmaker should support your position.
  • Limit leave-behinds to <1.5-pages of who likes it, who hates it, and how much it costs .
  • Plan your lobbying visit for <10 minutes but be ready to stay if they want to hear more.
  • Don’t be dismayed. Legislative lobbying is a logical but often utterly irrational process.
  • “Disrespect for the ill-informed” closes doors that may take years to reopen.
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