Today we’ll take a look at what Ray LeBov and I consider the key elements of successful lobbying in California. The first of these four is the Four P’s.

The Four P’s are: Process, players, policy, and personality.

  • Process – Understand the rules governing the legislative process in the Constitution, the Government Code, the Joint Rules, and the Assembly and Senate rules, not just the rules of how a bill becomes law, but all the rules, whether they cover ethics or the details of the budget process.
  • Players – Who are the players on both sides of the issue or the bill that you’re working on? Both the public officials, the elected officials, the staff, the administration officials, and the private sector, proponents and opponents, have a working relationship with all of them.
  • Policy – know your bill and have a working knowledge of the subject matter in general.
  • Personality – Exhibit a pleasant demeanor when working with others during the legislative process. We’re all professionals, and you can just as easily find yourself working on the same side of an issue as you can working against somebody. So treat others with respect and expect the same treatment for yourself.

Beyond the Four P’s, what are the three other keys to effective lobbying?

  • Seek guidance from others – talk to your colleagues and staff and others to learn more about a bill, a public policy area, or the legislative process itself. And listen to suggestions that are made by others with whom you work. Ask others why they succeeded or why they failed with a particular bill or issue.
  • Keep your word – Your reputation as a lobbyist can be made or broken by what you do, how you do it, and what you say.
  • Be flexible – one’s best-laid plans sometimes run into unforeseen hurdles that you have to get over. It’s important to be flexible in your dealings with others throughout the legislative process.
  • Do your research – Whether it’s for your bill, a public policy issue, or even a legislator that you’re about to lobby, it’s important to do at least some basic research

You can find the transcript of the audio in today’s post here.