Lobbyists have their work cut out for them going into 2023. A lot has changed for lobbyists and those working in government relations over the last two years due to the pandemic and the current political environment, especially with elections on the horizon. In this article, we will discuss the top challenges lobbyists face going into 2023 and how to overcome them.
In 2022, more than 7,000 state and federal seats will be up for grabs. So, it will come as no surprise that 8 out of 10 government affairs professionals say their team will get involved in the elections.
With the midterm elections just around the corner, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding which party will be in control. Lobbyists will need to be prepared to adapt their strategies depending on the outcome of the elections. Also, with the current political environment so polarized, it is difficult for lobbyists to build relationships with lawmakers from across the aisle.
COVID-19 & ITS AFTERMATH
The pandemic has changed the landscape of lobbying and government relations. Almost 80% of lobbyists are still working remotely at least part-time, which is making it difficult for lobbyists to build the personal relationships that are so important in this line of work. Additionally, the economic fallout from the pandemic has put many state and federal budgets under strain. This is making it difficult for lobbyists to secure the funding they need for their clients.
LACK OF RESOURCES FUELS A DECREASE IN MOTIVATION
Nearly 80% of lobbyists are still experiencing stress due to COVID-19. This stress is largely due to an increase in workload, with 45% claiming they are working harder than ever before, and 35% reporting they feel less motivated heading into 2023. The decrease in motivation likely stems from the lack of resources many lobbyists are facing. With budgets tight and fewer staff on hand, lobbyists are stretched thin. This is causing burnout and a decrease in productivity.
VOLUME OF ISSUES
There will be a lot of issues on the table for the 2023 legislative session. From the budget to healthcare to infrastructure, lobbyists will need to be prepared to tackle a range of issues. Sixty percent of organizations followed more issues last year than the year before, and almost 40% followed at least 10 priority issues. This is a daunting task for even the most experienced lobbyist.
FEAR OF MISSING SOMETHING RELATED TO LEGISLATION
With the volume of issues and the changes in the political landscape, it is no wonder that 45% of lobbyists are afraid of missing something related to legislation. They are not only worried about missing important updates, but also about the possibility of their clients being blindsided by legislative changes.
This fear may not be unwarranted. In 2022, 80% of lobbyists reported missing at least an occasional bill or update in 2022. This is especially true for newer lobbyists who may not have the same level of experience and knowledge. In order to be successful in 2023, lobbyists need to be prepared for the challenges they will face. Now is the time to implement a legislative tracking solution like Engagifii Government Affairs that lets you get started early on pre-filed bills.
NOT ENOUGH TIME
One of the most frequent complaints among lobbyists is that they do not have enough time. This is especially true during the legislative session when lobbyists are trying to track bills, meet with lawmakers, and attend hearings. During a typical session, there is an average of 15 legislative hearings and 7 committee hearings per day. This does not leave much time for lobbyists to do their job. In addition, many lobbyists are trying to juggle multiple clients with different interests. This can make it difficult to give each client the attention they deserve.
The solution to this problem is to be more efficient with the time you have. However, to do that, you have to understand where you currently spend your time.
A number of ways exist to increase efficiency, including using a legislative tracking solution to help you stay organized and prepare in advance. By being efficient during the 2023 legislative session, lobbyists can free up time for the more important work of building relationships, ensuring success, and increasing effectiveness.
NOT BEING ABLE TO SHOW THE VALUE/IMPACT OF WORK
One of the hardest things for lobbyists is being able to show the value/impact of their work to clients. This is because the work of a lobbyist is often invisible. Unlike other professions, there is no product or tangible output that can be easily measured. This can be a challenge for lobbyists who are trying to demonstrate their value to clients.
In order to effectively show the value/impact of their work, lobbyists need to be able to tell a story and connect the dots for their clients. Lobbyists need to be able to show how their work has impacted the legislative process and their client’s interests. They also need to be able to show how their work has helped their clients achieve their goals. By being able to tell a story and connect the dots for their clients, lobbyists can effectively show the value/impact of their work.
The best way to tell your story and prove your value is by collecting and sharing information. Frequent reports and analyses are an indispensable part of the services you provide. A majority of policy professionals create reports and legislative updates at least weekly. However, collecting the data and creating these reports is often a time-intensive, manual process. Lobbyists are turning to Engagifii to automate daily and weekly reports, so they can easily demonstrate their value to clients.
In order to be successful, lobbyists need to be prepared for the challenges they will face. By understanding the challenges and being proactive, lobbyists can overcome the obstacles in their way and help their clients navigate the 2023 legislative session.