Who’s a Lobbyist?

seattle lobbyistEverybody!

When Greenpeace take a delegation to a Minister, to talk about the Great Barrier Reef, they’re lobbying. If the Australian Medical Association seek new training standards for doctors, they’re lobbying. Should you push your local Councillor to oppose a high-rise development, or support a new local park, you’re lobbying. When Woolworths talk to the Government about weekend trading hours, yes, they’re lobbying. And while a town planner or a government relations consultant sees a public servant on behalf of a client, they are probably lobbying, too.

So many kinds of lobbyist: consultant lobbyists, who are hired guns in the same way as are barristers; business operatives, or owners or directors, who press a case on behalf of their company; social action, professional, or community organisations who want a policy changed, or saved.

Included in that last is political parties and movements: when your local Branch of The Greens Party sends a letter to the Environment Minister demanding protection for the black-throated finch, they are lobbying.  So are the Student Union when they hold a protest march about Uni fees.

And there’s you: sooner or later, everyone gets angry or enthused about some public policy issue, and would like to influence what a Government is doing. It might be that new local park for the kids, or immigration policy, or street lighting, or anything in between.

If you do something about it – organise a petition, write a letter, or go see your local MP: you’ve become a lobbyist. Congratulations!

If you do nothing about that anger or enthusiasm, don’t be fooling yourself – you don’t care enough to be a lobbyist.

About Mike Smith

Partner in Ethical Consulting Services: www.ethicalconsulting.com; Ethical strategies and programs which get you where you need to go ... * Exceptional government & stakeholder relations, * Thriving governance systems, * Specialised project facilitation, * Inbound investment assistance, * Successful marketing, communications and PR campaigns ... and customised training in each of these areas.

Posted on September 11, 2014, in Change, Democracy, Government Relations, how to lobby, Lobbying. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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