To win, one of the hardest challenges for a lobbyist is managing their limited amount of time. In this post, we will share three ways technology can help you save over 12 hours each week to focus on what's truly important - working on your clients' agendas and building relationships with legislators.
Contact us to see how other lobbyists have implemented these tips.
1. Be proactive (not reactive). Get notified when bills are introduced that match clients' priorities.
While some lobbyists are directly involved in writing the talking points and the specific bill language, most lobbyists are still relying on the state legislature's website to review bills that have been introduced. Hours are spent each week reading through pages of bills, making sure nothing is hidden in the text that could have a major impact. As both the length of bills and the volume of bills introduced each session continue to increase, how can everyone else read through these texts, summarize them, and understand their impact? It used to be that automated summarization techniques were enough, but that's no longer the case.
There are now several legislative tracking solutions for lobbyists, such as Engagifii Government Affairs, that will send you real-time alerts when bills have been introduced that match your clients' priorities via saved search functionality. Saved searches that scan a bill for keywords and generate notifications or lists of matching bills could assist a fundamental analyst who wants to stay ahead of the upcoming bills affecting the sector he/she reviews.
|Tips for professional lobbyists:
|"Client-based Saved Search" Create a saved search that alerts you and automatically creates a list of bills potentially impacting a client's agenda
|"Issue-based Saved Search" Create a saved search that alerts you and automatically creates lists of bills by topic for analysts to focus on specific subject matters
2. Reduce manual work and provide more value. Never update the bill status on a spreadsheet again.
Bill-tracking used to be an extremely manual process, but it is becoming increasingly hands-off with rapid technological advances. Rather than spending hours keeping tabs on individual bills and manually updating the bill status on spreadsheets themselves, lobbyists can access automated solutions that will do the heavy lifting for them. Automated bill tracking software now provides lobbyists with updates on the status of a bill, as well as relevant committee hearings, floor votes, and other important events. With solutions like Engagifii Legislation, all of the information related to the progress of bills is updated in real-time, so lobbyists can have more up-to-the-minute information at their fingertips.
But, it's not just the status of the bill that matters. You have multiple clients, each with unique needs, so it is more important than ever to have all of the information in one place. Most lobbyists use various software products to manage their work, including a client management system, an email client, spreadsheets, word documents, and a legislative tracking system (or the state website). This can result in a lot of time spent bouncing between different tabs, applications, and screens to find and share important information. The best legislative tracking solutions offer a centralized view of bills, sponsors, and committees that can be organized by client, action or issue, so lobbyists can work more efficiently, spending less time trying to keep track of everything.
Some legislative tracking solutions for lobbyists will even allow you to create bill tracking reports that dynamically update the progress of bills and resolutions as they make their way through the legislative process. With the most advanced systems, you can have custom reports with the defined bill details delivered directly to you, or any other recipient's inbox, at the frequency and times you want.
|Tips for professional lobbyists:
|Legislative Client Portfolios. Create legislative client portfolios that allow you to view all bills you are tracking for a specific client, with access to complete, up-to-date bill information, in a single view.
|Automated Daily Updates. Create custom, scheduled updates that are sent to you via email. For example, have a committee report listing all tracked bills scheduled to be discussed in committees that day emailed to you every day at 5 am. Or, create an automated report to be sent to you each evening at 6 pm that contains the bills that had an action that day.
3. Automate client reports, so you have more time to actually influence policy
Not only has recent technology saved professional lobbyists' hours each week identifying and monitoring bills, but the biggest impact has been the hours saved each week on creating and sending legislative reports.
In the past, lobbying firms would manually compile a list of bills and their current status for each client every week. This process is no longer necessary, as legislative tracking solutions can now automate legislative reports. With a few clicks, you can generate a report that includes all of the bills being tracked for a client and the status of each bill.
The best legislative tracking solutions for lobbyists now allow you to create branded, client-specific reports that include the analysis, position, and tracking level for a specific client, along with any important bill details (last action, sponsors, committees, etc). These reports are dynamically updated with real-time information and can be automatically sent to clients daily or weekly.
One lobbying firm in Kentucky reported that Engagifii's legislative management solution saved them over 12 hours per week from automating client reports - that's over 180 hours saved during the regular session. "For the first time since working for this firm, I wrapped up my Friday in time to join the team for happy hour." In over five years, that's never happened. Instead of sitting in the office until 10 pm sending out the last of the weekly updates, she was done scheduling the reports by 10 am for them to go out later in the day with the most up-to-date information available at that time.
|Tips for professional lobbyists:
|Automated Client Bill Updates. Provide more value to clients when they receive scheduled, automated bill updates from you that allow them to stay informed as bills that impact their agenda advance (or fail to advance) through the process.
24/7 Private Client Web Reports. Not only can you send clients daily or weekly updates, but the best legislative solutions for lobbyists allow you to share private links (urls) with clients that give them secure access to just their own bill tracking report with real-time bill updates.
By utilizing technology to automate various processes, lobbyists can free up hours each week to focus on more important tasks that cannot be easily automated, such as lobbying politicians and decision-makers to gain political support for their clients' interests.
|Schedule a meeting to learn how Engagifii can help you save time, reduce manual work, keep everyone more informed, and help you deliver more value to your clients.