Lobbying & Government Relations - Association Government Relations

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Establishing an Effective Association Federal Government Relations Program: What Is Required?


Wright H. Andrews, Esq. - Partner, Butera & Andrews


General Understanding & Commitment by Associations Leadership

  • Why government relations is important
  • Defined goals and realistic expectations
  • What activities, time and resources are required
  • Commitment of economic and other resources and time

Develop Basic Strategic Plan for Government Relations Program

  • Initial Plan
  • Periodic Review & Refinement
  • Lobbying Strategies Keyed to Particular Issues
  • Accountability

Basic Program Elements & Execution

  • Association Policy Making/Decision Making Structure & Process
    Executive Committee
    Government Relations Committee
  • Committee Chairperson
  • PAC Chairperson
    Coordination With Other Association Programs
  • Media & Public Relations
  • Education
  • Grassroots/Key Member Legislative Contacts Network
  • Washington Presence
    Physical Presence in Washington
    Active, Visible Legislative Involvement
    Credible, Respected Representatives
  • Staffing & Support
    Executive Director
    Government Affairs Coordinator
    Retained Professional Lobbyist
    Administrative support personnel & resources
  • Membership Education & Participation
    Educational/Marketing Program on Government Relations to Association's Members
  • Why program is important to industry and to their companies
  • What the program involves
  • How individual companies can participate and help
  • Why companies' participation is critically important
    Information Updates & Action Alerts
    Involvement in Committee work
    Establishing & maintaining contacts with local Senators & Representatives (& reporting back)
    Participation in Association's Grassroots Network
    Attendance at Legislative Affairs Conference and/or Meetings in Washington
    PAC support
    Checking Association's Internet WEB page for legislative/regulatory updates
    Personal volunteer political involvement (e.g., work in Senator's campaign; host fund-raisers; etc.)
  • Issue Identification
    Agency (e.g., HUD rules)
  • Monitoring & Reporting on Legislative & Regulatory Developments
    Review numerous materials
    Attend hearings, markups, meetings
    Information from personal contacts
  • Hill
  • Agency
  • Industry
  • Press
    Advance Warning whenever possible
    Timely Reports & Updates
  • Analysis of Developments & Proposals
    Analyze how particular trends or legislative/regulatory proposals may impact
    Outline possible options and scenarios
  • Drafting Materials
    White papers
    Factual descriptions of industry
    Lobbying "one-pagers"
    Bills, Amendments
    Grassroots lobbying documents
  • Liaison & Coordination with Industry & Other Interested Parties
    Association Member Companies' Washington Representatives
    Other Industry Associations
    Opponents and/or Potential Opponents (e.g., self-styled Consumer advocacy groups)
  • Establishing & Maintaining "Political Clout"
    Targeted contacts and relationship building
    Contacts & activities by Washington office staff & lobbyist
    Washington visits by member company executives
    Regional/Annual meetings speakers
    Local visits in State/District with Senators/Representatives
    Cultivation of several Key Supporters (i.e., industry champions or "political horses")
    Ongoing political involvement
    PAC contributions
    Grassroots Contacts Network Program
    Plan & develop targeted grassroots program
  • Political Education & Advocacy Activities (a/k/a "Lobbying")
    Lobbyist's Hill visits
    CEO "fly-ins"
    Distribution of educational materials on industry
    Briefings & seminars
    Proposing bills & amendments
    Press releases & statements
    Prepare/distribute lobbying materials
    Media outreach
    Coalition formation and/or participation
    Coordinated industry lobbying campaign
    Grassroots contacts activation
  • Hard Work, Good Judgments, Common Sense & Persistence

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