The question Is Not Whether, but How
Like most of downtown Washington, DC, K Street, where many corporate lobbying firms have offices, looks relatively quiet because of the pandemic. But appearances can be deceiving. In fact, lobbying is alive and well—and thriving—in the nation’s capital. Case in point: According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook and Amazon topped all other U.S. companies in federal corporate lobbying expenditures last year, noting it “… was the second straight year they outspent all other companies, including stalwarts such as AT&T Inc. and Boeing Co.”
Katarina Matic, director of public affairs at Montieth & Company, said, “When consecutive elections are as politically polarized as the 2016 and 2020 elections, companies are forced to shift gears quickly. The question then becomes not whether, but how.”
“The Biden administration has big goals and we are already seeing in week one that its most urgent priorities are in direct response to the policies that have been implemented over the past four years. Companies that are able to insert themselves into those conversations have already geared up,” she observed.
Regarding strategizing advocacy to help policymakers achieve their goals, Matic proposed that “successful advocacy is about finding common ground and making progress on an issue, not about winning.”
“Those whose objectives do not fit into the administration’s ‘urgent and important’ category should begin to devise their strategy, and now. When the stakes are high, companies usually don’t stop advocating because an administration may be averse to their position on an issue.”