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Guidelines for effective lobbying

  1. The people
    • target your lobbying
    • research your targets
    • know the role of staff in the organization, department, or office that you are lobbying
    • decide if you need or want allies
    • understand the arguments that will be used against you, so that you can refute them
    • build your base of support ahead of time, illustrate this base in your lobby (delegation, letters, statements, video, petition, photos, etc.)

  2. The information
    • be accurate
    • send background information ahead of time
    • identify the problem and propose solutions
    • leave information at the end of the meeting
    • make notes of the meeting right after the session, if with a group, debrief together as soon after the meeting as possible
    • send a letter after the meeting to summarize the discussion and any action that was agreed to and indicating when follow-up contact will be made

  3. The approach
    • in setting up the meeting, identify the purpose of the meeting, how much time you are requesting, and who you are bringing with you
    • be clear and direct, convey confidence
    • decide ahead of time, what you would like to get out of the meeting, be clear about your strategy
    • be pragmatic and realistic
    • criticize policies and programs not people
    • listen well, look for indication of views and attitudes

Adapted from the following sources: The Democracy Centre, Union Strategies For the Liberal Era (Effective Lobbying, Penny Priddy), The Community Toolbox (Lobbying Decision-Makers)