Types of Lobbying

Not all lobbying is the same. Let us paint you a picture: 

Scenario 1: A corporate lobbyist works for a lobbying firm and has 10 corporate clients. He works on issues that are related to taxes and trade and tries to influence Congress to pass favorable policies that will help his clients save money on taxes and loosen regulations so the companies he works for can grow their bottom lines. He convinces his clients to donate money to the members of Congress who sit on the committees which oversee taxes and trade. He makes a lot of money. 

Scenario 2: A former congressional staffer works for a national nonprofit dedicated to preventing suicide in teenagers. She focuses her advocacy efforts solely on this one issue, and pushes for legislation that increases funding to programs that aim to prevent suicide and tries to pass a law that would strengthen the government agencies that oversee this issue. Her nonprofit can not donate to politicians and she doesn't have money to donate large amounts, so she relies on the relationships she has built during her time working on the hill and meeting staffers who are interested in helping.

Both these people are lobbyists. Their differences highlights why we think it is important to distinguish between the different types of lobbying.

There are three types of lobbying: 

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Corporate Lobbying

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Special Interest Lobbying

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Citizen Lobbying

Corporate lobbying refers to the businesses and industry groups that hire professional lobbyists to push for legislation that will protect their bottom line or increase their revenue. They can push for contracts from the government or favorable regulations that help their specific industries. 

Special interest lobbying refers to groups that lobby Congress on a specific issue. These can be nonprofits with public interest causes like increasing funding for cancer research, democracy reform, or improving housing for homeless veterans. It can also be partisan groups, both left and right, trying to influence Congress to achieve their political agenda. 

Citizen lobbying refers to everyday citizens who write letters, attends marches, makes phone calls, posts on social media, and attends town hall to try to influence their individual representatives to support of oppose certain issues.

Top lobbying industries

Corporate lobbying refers to the businesses and industry groups that hire professional lobbyists to push for legislation that will protect their bottom line or increase their revenue. They can push for contracts from the government or favorable regulations that help their specific industries. 

Special interest lobbying refers to groups that lobby Congress on a specific issue. These can be nonprofits with public interest causes like increasing funding for cancer research, democracy reform, or improving housing for homeless veterans. It can also be partisan groups, both left and right, trying to influence Congress to achieve their political agenda. 

Citizen lobbying refers to everyday citizens who write letters, attends marches, makes phone calls, posts on social media, and attends town hall to try to influence their individual representatives to support of oppose certain issues.

What are the methods of lobbying?

There are many methods of lobbying, below are an example of the different things lobbyists do to influence Congress: 

Lobbysts meet one-on-one with congressional staffers and members of Congress