Types of Lobbying Clients and Services

Today’s post is on the types of lobbying clients and services provided. There are several different types of clients that contract lobbyists have, each requiring different levels and types of services. Some clients are at a low end of the service spectrum while other clients are at the very high end, requiring daily attention.

Contract lobbyists may have a myriad of clients in different industries while others may specialize in specific types of clients. Regardless of the subject matter of the client’s interest, there are essentially four types of clients: monitoring, lobbying, consulting, and procurement.

Monitoring clients simply desire to know what is happening at the Legislature and/or with regulatory agencies and the Governor’s office. This type of client requires a lobbyist to monitor relevant legislation and regulations, sometimes budget items, and politics generally involving particular issue areas or industries. As a result of monitoring legislation and regulations, lobbyists may work with their clients to develop strategic plans, designed to meet their near-term and long-term objectives.

The next type of servicing is lobbying. These services can range from supporting or opposing legislation or regulations, or sponsoring bills, to make specified changes in the law. There are essentially three types of lobbying – legislative lobbying, regulatory advocacy lobbying, and budget advocacy.

Legislative consulting and advocacy services usually include research and analysis of policy issues, daily monitoring of legislation introduced and amended, and advocacy for and against legislation affecting clients. Regulatory advocacy is similar, but it’s a world unto its own with separate rules. Lobbyists help their clients meaningfully engage in the public comment period and the formal hearings when regulatory bodies engage in their quasi-legislative activities.

The next type of client and service is consulting. This type of client doesn’t require lobbying or advocacy services, but instead desires to retain a lobbyist to provide consulting or advisory services. These types of clients want active advising regarding what they should be doing such that the lobbyist provides political advice or consulting to the client, such as how to navigate the legislative or regulatory processes, identify viable candidates for open seats, and recommend candidates without actually advocating.

The last type of lobbying service provided is procurement lobbying. These types of lobbyists do not have to register as a lobbyist under the Political Reform Act. In this role, lobbyists try to secure contracts for the purchase of goods or services by the State of California.

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