TANGO Partners Perspective – May 2021
Three Lessons for Successful Lobbying
Written By: Alan Deckman,
President – TCORS Capitol Group, LLC
Throughout the past year we’ve witnessed a rapid, fundamental shift in government relations as it relates to the day-to-day business of cultivating relationships, advocating for clients, and keeping our finger on the pulse of current events and legislative efforts.
The urgent call for a pandemic pivot demanded a nimble, deft response: moving into the digital space and establishing consistent communication, while devising initiatives that would best support clients’ needs during a time that upended previous modes of achieving clients’ goals.
Three lessons of lobbying to take away from the past year include: dexterity, the primacy of relationships, and establishing balance.
Dexterity and Resilience:
At TCORS Capitol Group, LLC., (TCG) we responded to the shift to remote business with immediacy: talking to clients and seeing what their needs were, listening to them, hearing what their struggles were, and trying to look a few weeks in advance of where we thought things were headed. We sought to position our clients as best as we were able, in spite of circumstances, embracing virtual communication and adapting to changing needs and strategies. Client relations is the bedrock of successful lobbying, and re-learning how to best support our clients in the new, digital landscape has been crucial to success. That responsiveness and resilience in the face of unforeseen change, are tools that can be used in many capacities moving forward.
The heartbeat of government relations is the relationship established between lobbyist and lawmaker: lobbying thrives on building and nurturing relationships, the foundation of impactful and meaningful exchange, progress, and creative problem-solving. Maintaining a dialogue with legislators, key staff, Commissioners of the state agencies, and members of the Executive Branch has largely moved online for the past year. This has been a critical challenge, when establishing dialogue is crucial to client advocacy. The benefit? More varied opportunities to create and maintain meaningful connections in the future, whether or not we are able to meet in person. Relationships are the bridge to continued lobbying and dialogue with important decision-making, and have become particularly paramount during a time when we have not been able to interact as frequently face-to-face. These are useful lessons to be gleaned from this time about opportunities for creating and sustaining relationships in the future.
One of the greatest challenges of the pandemic has been establishing balance: between work and life, and between professional priorities. With discipline, organization, and through multiple forms of communication (Zoom/Meet/Facetime, texting, phone, email, etc.…), we have been able to establish a healthy, vibrant, and efficient workflow. Careful scheduling, specificity in correspondence, thoughtful delegation, and teamwork, have all contributed to more mindful balance and greater efficiency. These strategies are takeaways for the next chapter of success in the lobbying world and beyond.
For twenty-five years, TCG’s experienced lobbyists and consultants have provided clients with a full range of integrated services to address their government relations needs. Our clients range from large, multinational corporations to local, grassroots associations. We have represented clients before every legislative committee and every state agency. We are pleased to partner with TANGO, and to support nonprofits’ opportunities to thrive.