Every day, decisions are made and laws are passed that effect how you do business in Ohio. How can you ensure that your company or association is protected and has a voice in public policy process before it’s too late? The best way is to retain a lobbyist to represent you and work on your behalf in Columbus, Ohio. After three decades in Ohio politics, here is Grant Street Consultants top ten reasons to hire an Ohio lobbyist.
1). Trust: Trust takes time to build. At Grant Street, we’ve all worked as political insiders before pursuing a private sector career. The trust built during our time in the public sector transcends to every issue we take on in the private sector. We bring a sense of comfort and integrity into every meeting. Lawmakers know that we’ve vetted our issue thoroughly and our information is honest and accurate.
2). Translator: Businesses and Associations utilize operational guidelines to maintain a successful organization. There are rules to live by in the private sector, such as profit, control of expenses, listening to consumer input, open communication among associates, and embracing technology. While a private business must live or die by these rules, it is possible for a government entity to survive without. Hiring a “translator” equips your business or organization with the resources to communicate effectively and provide a healthy understanding of your business needs without getting lost in translation.
3). Access: Lawmakers are flooded with a massive amount of emails, calls, tweets, text messages, and meeting requests. In a perfect world they would have enough time to respond to every request and every issue would receive equal attention. However its not a perfect world and there’s only so much time in any person’s day. Therefore your issue is competing for the attention of key lawmakers.
4). Strategy: Time is money. Success requires both a politically savvy strategy, and checkpoints for success. Without these elements, you will spend a lot of time and money running around in circles. After which most people give up from the frustration of the bureaucratic red tape.
5). Staffers: Political staffers are, and always will be, an essential part of our political system. Despite their importance, they are historically underpaid and therefore many positions have an extremely high turnover rate. However this high turnover rate doesn’t excuse you from knowing the newest staffer who, as stated, will always have an essential role in politics.
6). Political Donations: If you haven’t received a donation request by every form of communication possible, you have been living under a rock. A strategic donation budget that focuses on key legislators and follows all state and federal guidelines is fundamental to making smart donations. No matter how large or small your wallet is you need a strategic donation budget.
7). Monitor: Many clients seek us out during a crisis. This means a bill was introduced that will have a major affect on business, and that bill is quickly moving through the legislative process. Many pieces of legislation sail through the Statehouse because no one explained how harmful the practical application of this bill would be on a specific industry. As a lobbyist, we maintain constant dialogue with lawmakers and monitor all new and potential legislation. This ensures that we can provide information on the practical impact of any new legislation at the earliest stage of the political process.
8). Crisis: If you ignored item #7, monitor and advocate at an early stage, we can still help you. Despite any impending legislation, our firm can still advocate on your behalf and get results. Our considerable size is unique for any Ohio Lobbying Firm and it affords our clients the ability to deliver a coordinated message to the entire legislature within a short time frame.
9). Bipartisan: We pride ourselves on having close ties to both Democrats and Republicans. Furthermore, our best advice for new clients is that your company, association or industry should only concentrate on issues specific to your business. Political affiliations must take a back seat to business.
10). Presence: “80% of success is showing up.” Few companies have the capability to having a constant presence in legislative committees, political fundraisers and in the House / Senate chambers because they’re busy running a business. Lobbyists allow you to keep your focus on business while also maintaining a political presence.
John Singleton, Partner