Category

General Lobbying

Statue holding a balancing weight to signify law and order lobbying lawyer

Differences Between Lobbyists and Lawyers

By | General Lobbying

While lobbyists and lawyers both practice law, there are quite a few key differences when it comes to comparing them. Being able to spot these differences can help you determine which route is best for you. After all, you want to be able to hire someone on your behalf to get the job done.

Additionally, both sets of groups have their own laws to uphold, and knowing these can also save you from legal and ethical problems. So, what are the main differences between lobbyists and lawyers? What are their duties and responsibilities? How can they benefit from each other?

What Is A Lobbyist?

In order to understand what the difference is between lobbyists and lawyers, first need to specify what each profession is and what they do. As explained in our previous blog post, lobbying refers to the act of influencing key policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels. They do so by taking a stance on issues that best align with their client’s goals and interests and persuading elected officials to vote in line with those stated goals. 

Lobbyists tend to specialize in certain areas and can be hired by individuals, corporations, small businesses, and firms. They can also work alone or for a lobbying firm. Furthermore, lobbyists have to register with the State and disclose their clients each quarter. 

What Is A Lawyer?

On the other hand, a lawyer is someone who advises and represents clients in legal matters. These clients can be individuals, corporations, or small businesses. A lawyer’s main focus is to protect the rights of their clients and uphold the law to the best of their capabilities. Lawyers can also specialize in certain subjects and focus their work on those areas only.

In simple terms, a lawyer is someone who upholds the law and also protects their client’s rights. A lobbyist is someone who tries to persuade key decision-makers in favor of their client’s best interests.

Can Lobbyists and Lawyers Benefit from Each Other?

Lawyers can benefit from lobbyists in the fact that they can change the law. While lobbyists cannot do this alone, their relationships allow them access to key policymakers in their effort to change certain aspects of the law. By doing so a lawyer’s job can become easier in their pursuit of upholding the law while keeping their client’s best interests in mind and protecting their rights.

Dorn Policy Group Will Advocate For You

As a leading professional lobbying and public affairs firm in Arizona, Dorn Policy Group will provide you with policy advice to meet your goals and keep your interests top of mind. Working with all levels of government, our principal staff has nearly 60 years of combined experience. We will advocate on your behalf to the people that matter. Contact us today and learn how Dorn Policy Group can help you.

How to Find the Best Government Relations Firm

By | General Lobbying

Hiring a government relations firm is a great first step in making sure your voice is heard when it comes to public policy issues that might affect your business. These firms represent a variety of interests that can range from big corporations to small businesses, educational organizations to non-profits, and individuals. Through education and advocacy, they will stop policies that might not be in your best interest. 

Since most people do not have the time or resources to maneuver through the complex world of politics, these firms are capable of doing the heavy lifting. But what should you look for before making the critical step of hiring a government relations firm? Here are some of the qualities and services you should look for in your search.

 

Qualities

Experience

It goes without saying, but you should ensure that the government relations firm has plenty of experience under their belt. Having a staff with tenure and relationships with former public officials is always a good way to tell you are in the company of people who have been there before and know how to get desirable results for you.

 

Bipartisanship 

Being able to work from both sides of the aisle is crucial in the world of politics. By being flexible and willing to work with everyone, you can establish and build relationships in an environment where things can change very quickly.

Background in Various Industries

Apart from having experience working with policy, you will want a firm that has an understanding of a variety of industries. By having a background in several issue areas, especially your industry, you can be confident over the policy being advocated for on your behalf. 

 

Services

Lobbying, Policy & Advocacy

You want a government relations firm with a track record of effectively influencing public policy decisions. They should have comprehensive and creative approaches to solving problems that might be of concern to your business or organization. 

Government Relations

Building relationships and connections are an essential part of the public policy process. By having a firm with strong ties and friendships with elected officials in all levels of government, you can rest assured knowing your concerns will be heard by the people that matter. 

 

Dorn Policy Group Will Advocate For You

As one of the leading professional lobbying and public affairs firms in Arizona, Dorn Policy Group will provide you with strategic counsel to meet your goals. We work in all levels of government including Federal, State, County, Municipal, District, and Tribal governments. With a principal staff that has nearly 60 years of combined experience working with government and political consulting, we will advocate on your behalf to the people that matter. Contact us today to learn how Dorn Policy Group can help your organization or business.

The Salt Lake city capital building government relations

What is a Government Relations Firm?

By | General Lobbying

Thomas R. Dye once said politics is about battling over scarce governmental resources and who, where, when, why, and how they obtain them. One of the ways businesses pursue the resources they need is by hiring a government relations firm. But what exactly is a government relations firm and what can they do for businesses? 

What Does a Government Relations Firm Do?

While this type of firm is very similar to a lobbyist group, they provide much more. A government relations firm provides strategic guidance for businesses and works in tandem with government offices to achieve a successful outcome. They also provide policy analysis and education about their client’s business and industry without pushing a separate agenda. 

Another type of government relations firm is a public affairs firm. This type of agency has a public relations element  to develop messages to the public to bring awareness to a specific issue. They work with clients on a variety of activities including lobbying, media engagement, advising, consulting, advocacy, and monitoring political activity.

What Can a Government Relations Firm Do For Business Owners?

According to AALEP, the potential impact a government affairs group can have on a business strategy is significant. While it varies based on the industry, it can account for between 30-50% of a company’s earnings, tax, depreciation, and amortization. 

They use their skills and resources to leverage a company’s advantages by:

  • Addressing emerging nonmarket-driven opportunities and threats
  • Shaping the structure of existing and new markets
  • Enhancing the company’s brand and reputation
  • Building a relationship between the business and its external stakeholders

Moreover, government relations firms are qualified in scanning the business nonmarket environment for opportunities and threats to benefit their clients. With their assistance, they prove to be significant in business strategy.

Let Dorn Policy Group Assist Your Business

As one of the top Arizona lobbyists, we know how important it is to be noticed by those who govern us. By partnering with Dorn Policy Group, you can rest assured knowing that you have skilled advocates looking out for your best interests. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you today.

Outside of a capital building with large white columns lobbying

Is Lobbying Good Or Bad For Democracy?

By | General Lobbying

Lobbying is the process of trying to influence key policymakers. Lobbyists will attempt to educate public officials to take a stand that best aligns with the interest of who they are representing. While it is true that big corporations spend billions of dollars on lobbying, any kind of business, large or small, can hire and benefit from a lobbyists’ extensive knowledge in a variety of subject areas. 

Anyone from big corporations to individuals and non-profits to unions can utilize lobbying services. More and more groups are hiring lobbyists to represent them and have their voices be heard. But one question remains, is lobbying good or bad for democracy? Here are a couple of reasons why lobbying is an essential part of a working government and democracy.

Lobbying Is Protected Under The First Amendment

While there is no place in the Constitution that specifically states or mentions the word “lobbying,” it is protected under the 1st Amendment, stating that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” This means that the people have the right to petition the government and have their voices heard on topics that affect them.

Lobbying Gives A Voice To The Unrepresented

Most people do not have the time, resources, or skills to present themselves in front of policymakers and advocate for their interests. Lobbyists give people the opportunity to be represented in front of these public officials and get a seat at the discussion table. Lobbyists give these individuals, companies, non-profits, and worker unions a voice. Providing them with a chance to give their input, and raise their concerns regarding policies that affect them.

Lobbyist Provide Educational Insights

With over 10,000 bills presented to Congress, it is hard to imagine that policymakers are experts in every subject. Since lobbyists often specialize in specific subject areas, they can represent and articulate the interests of their clients as experts in the matter. Therefore, lobbyists can also educate and bring to light issues that public officials might be unfamiliar with, providing benefits to both parties.

Let Dorn Policy Group Advocate For You

Lobbying encourages people to participate in government and voice their concerns. With nearly 60 years of combined government experience, Dorn Policy Group can advocate on your behalf at the Federal, State, County, Municipal, District, and Tribal levels. Contact us to learn more about how to become a partner with Dorn Policy Group.

The dome of a capital building in front of a gray sky lobbyists

Why Do We Have Lobbyists?

By | General Lobbying

In 2019, the total amount of spending reached $3.47 billion, the most it’s been in almost a decade. Congressional changes continue to create opportunities for lobbying firms to use their political influence as a way to convince legislators to make decisions that benefit communities, businesses, and nonprofits. While some people may feel lobbyists are a legal form of bribery, this is simply not true and is an integral part of the political process.

What is Lobbying?

Lobbyists are a group of advocates that work with a variety of organizations and individuals to influence political decisions. This support leads to new proposals, adding amendments to existing laws, and introducing new issues to legislators. It’s important to note that it is prohibited for a lobbyist to pay a politician to secure their vote in specific matters. 

Why Do We Have Lobbyists?

As we’ve mentioned, businesses spend a large amount of money to gain access and influence policymakers. It allows them to voice their concerns and have a seat at the table when deciding on policies that could impact an organization. While many people think these interest groups only lookout for big corporations, this is not always the case.

Labor unions are a very common group that enlists the help of lobbying groups. There are cases where lobbying firms have advocated for unions to provide better safety protections and benefits for employees. They also provide a voice for small businesses and communities to have a fighting chance for and against bills that can impact them.

The government has the power to help individuals and businesses, but they also have the power to hinder it. It is the lobbyist’s job to protect the interests of their client to ensure they continue to grow and be successful. Lobbying is fundamental in today’s political landscape.

Dorn Policy Group: Arizona’s Premier Lobbyist Firm

For 20 years, Dorn Policy Group has advocated on behalf of a variety of clients in different industries. We’ve partnered with organizations relating to aerospace and education to Native American relations. Contact us today to learn how our lobbying firm will benefit you.

How to Become A Lobbyist

By | General Lobbying | No Comments

A career in lobbying can be very rewarding as lobbyists are individuals who aim to influence political decisions. Lobbyists advocate at the local, state, and federal government for issues that align with the interests of a company, organization, or individual. Having exceptional verbal and written communication skills are a must. While the path to becoming a lobbyist can vary from person to person, there are some actions that can help accelerate the process and help you be successful in your lobbying career.

Lobbyists can give a voice to businesses and individuals by making their opinions and concerns heard by key policymakers. Lobbying for specific issues does not guarantee a favorable outcome, but it does get you a seat at the table. This is important when it comes to policies and decisions that might affect you or your business.

What Is Lobbying

Plain and simple, lobbying refers to the act of influencing and persuading local, state, or federal policymakers. Whether it is in support or opposition of a certain issue, a lobbyist’s job is to advocate for the stance that will best align with the interest of the company, organization, or individual the lobbyist is representing. Having a passion and deep understanding of a specific policy area will go a long way when trying to break into the field and proving your worth to lobbying firms or elected officials. 

General Requirements

Although you can become a lobbyist in several different ways, these recommendations will help you on your journey to entering the lobbying field.

  • Bachelor’s degree – A degree in public relations, journalism, communications, political science, law, or economics are all good degrees to get started in. You can also get a degree in a field you’re passionate about and minor with a political science or law degree to get familiar with policies.
  • Internships – Internships are a great way to earn real-world experience and learn more about the legislative process. Students can work in political campaigns as a congressional aide or for any agency or group requiring legislative representation. They can also help you earn credit towards your degree. Even with all of this, internships offer you a chance to start to build your professional network.
  • Networking – One of the most important aspects of becoming a lobbyist is networking, as relationships with other lobbyists and policymakers will take you far in the field. Internships will give you exposure to this by providing you with a network of politicians, policymakers, and legislators that can lead to job opportunities once you begin your professional career. Creating and building relationships in your network will allow you to influence and persuade others during your career.

Register

Once you begin your career in lobbying you will need to complete a registration form. In this form, you will include contact details, what client you are representing, the issues you are lobbying for, and the stance. Additionally, every quarter you will fill out a report with your current contacts and lobbying activities. After you have registered, it is up to you to work independently or for a lobbying firm.

Lobbyist Certification 

Another way to quickly get into the field of lobbying is by enrolling in the lobbying certification program offered by the American League of Lobbyist, based in Washington D.C. While this certification is not required, it does give a quick overview of what the lobbying industry looks like.

Dorn Policy Group Will Advocate For You

As a leading Arizona-based lobbying and public affairs firm, we provide our clients with strategic counsel to advance our client’s ultimate goals. Dorn Policy Group works with all levels of government including federal, state, county, municipal, district, and tribal government entities. Contact us today to learn more about how Dorn Policy Group can help you achieve your goals.

How Boutique Lobbyists Give Small Business Owners a Voice

By | General Lobbying, Small Businesses

According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are approximately 28 million small businesses, which account for 54% of sales across a diverse range of industries.  While it is assumed lobbyists are only looking out for conglomerates, there are many lobbying firms that act on behalf of smaller businesses.  By employing boutique lobbyists to support their business, small business owners are able to voice their concerns with policymakers who matter.

What Are Boutique Lobbyists

Boutique lobbyists are individuals who work for smaller companies. They serve their small business clients by incorporating strategies into their advocacy approach to reach targeted decision-makers. Similar to large corporations, boutique lobbyists focus their efforts on serving businesses based on their political needs. However, the biggest difference between small business lobbyists and those who handle large companies’ political affairs is the client’s ability to spend. Smaller lobbying agencies will understand this and will often take a more frugal approach in their strategy in order to obtain the desired results. 

What to Expect From Boutique Lobbyists

Due to having a lower budget to accommodate smaller businesses, lobbyists will incorporate cost-efficient strategies into their campaign.  They will put their focus into smaller initiatives such as communication strategies, building strong relationships, and networking with the right people.  Another way boutique lobbyists work with small businesses is by including them in all aspects of the advocacy process.  Most of these businesses are working with lobbyists for the first time, so any good agency will take the time to explain their process and update them on their efforts.

Let Dorn Policy Group Work For You

If you are having trouble getting your voice heard by key policymakers let us be your microphone. As one of Arizona’s top-level lobbying firms, Dorn Policy Group is committed to each of our clients!  Contact us today to learn how Dorn Policy Group can help you!

Two intercultural delegates and their colleagues on background discussing Lobbying Opportunities

Is Lobbying Legal?

By | General Lobbying

One of the most common questions we get from people who are new to the lobbying industry is why is lobbying legal? Is lobbying considered bribery? No! Lobbying is a right guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution and has been reaffirmed by the government that it is in fact legal. There are major differences between lobbying and bribery; however, sometimes people mix them up. 

Why is Lobbying Different From Bribery?

All too often, lobbying is misinterpreted as bribery. The key factor that differentiates lobbying from bribery is the effort to buy power or paying to guarantee a certain result. However, lobbying is designed to educate and guide government officials on particular topics. The intention and definition of bribery suggest that it would result in a favorable outcome. In turn, lobbying helps influence power, while bribery buys power for the subjects’ benefit. Harvard conducted a study looking at the donations lobbyists give to help influence power compared to a straight bribe and they said: “[Lobbying is] served to build trusted relationships over time and to offset any inconvenience caused by taking the lawmaker’s time.”  

How Does Lobbying Avoid Bribery?

Lobbyists are a group of like-minded individuals, coming together to shape legislation. In fact, the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 requires people to register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House to file all information regarding their expenditures and activities. Therefore, lobbying is set up to be transparent to the government and is recorded to prevent any corruption. 

Why is Lobbying Important?

As we have talked about in our previous blog post, lobbying is a crucial part of our governmental system. Without it, the government would not be able to accomplish favorable legislation and vote to help businesses improve. 

We have been lobbying for over 20 years here at Dorn Policy Group and we have our client’s best interest at heart to change government legislation in the right direction. Our extensive experience and variety of industries we serve have made a top-tier lobbying firms in the Phoenix metro area. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business get things done within the Federal, State, or Local government. 

How to Find an Effective Lobbyist

By | General Lobbying

No matter how big or small a company is, there is a good chance hiring a lobbyist is an essential move to protect your business’ interests from burdensome government regulation. Advocacy groups can help the voice of business be heard, but how does one start looking for a good lobbyist that would be reputable for their business? Here are some things to look for when hiring a lobbyist for your business.

Look at Expertise and Industries

 It goes without saying, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook when hiring the right lobbyist. When searching online, be sure to check the industries they serve to ensure your business falls into one of the categories. If not, keep looking.  If yes, take a look at their areas of expertise and services. Lobbying firms have different types of services offered, whether it be specializing in political advising or strategic communications.  Make sure you find a good match for your needs. 

Experience

Of course, experience is crucial. However, it becomes very important when looking for a lobbyist to represent your interests. One of the best types of experiences a lobbyist can have is being an insider. This means a lobbyist who has served as an elected official or staff lawmakers has deeper insight into how to influence lawmakers. They will know through firsthand experience how the legislative process works and will advise based on their specialized knowledge. However, something to look out for is someone who is aligned with a political party and will sway in favor of the party’s beliefs instead of what is right for your business. 

Don’t Wait for a Crisis

Whether or not to hire a lobbyist may be a topic of discussion within your office. It may seem more appealing to save the money instead of adding another expense. However, it may be rather difficult to hire a lobbyist in a crisis situation. Having a lobbyist already in place before a policy issue arises will be the key to success. 

Here at Dorn Policy Group, we want to help you protect your business’ interests. It is not always easy to find finding a lobbyist that is a good fit for your company, but we want to help make it a little bit easier. Contact us to learn more about partnering with us to protect your interests.

Why is lobbying important?

By | General Lobbying

Why is lobbying important? The short answer is it ensures a productive government. Without lobbyists, the government has a hard time sorting out differences of opinions when it comes to handling their citizens’ needs. 

Diving deeper into the details of lobbying, lobbyists are a great educational tool for legislators to use when voting on a subject matter they may not know much about. 

Strength in Numbers

You may wonder, why can’t a company and its management have direct contact to the government legislatures and represent themselves? One of the most important factors lobbyists have is access to government officials through experience and group goals. Legislatures are more likely to listen to the bearings of a group knowing there is large support behind it rather than just an individual or a single organization. 

In addition, what if citizens have conflicting interests? Lobbying can also help sort those interests out and provide some insight to legislatures. 

Ability to Follow-up

Another factor in the importance of a lobbyist is their ability to put pressure on government officials. There is a lot going on in government and new issues come in that could surpass other issues. Lobbyists have the ability to provide constant communication and shed light on its current issues. 

Partner With Dorn Policy Group

Here at Dorn Policy Group, we are one of the best lobby firms here in Phoenix, Arizona. 

With 20 years of experience, we provide advocacy for interest groups around the entire state of Arizona. We service a wide variety of clients, lobbying for them at the federal, state, county, municipal, district, and tribal level. Contact us to learn more about how we lobby for your issue.