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What most lay people regard as lobbying-- the actual communication with government officials-- can represent the smallest portion of a lobbyist's time; often times a far greater proportion is devoted to the other aspects of preparation, information and communication.
Federal law requires most persons who are paid to make direct "lobbying contacts" with members of Congress and officials of the federal executive branch to register and file reports twice a year.
To be an effective lobbyist, you need to understand the structure of the government that is impacting your business. This is important because navigating through the bureaucracy of government is not an easy process, and establishing relationships with those in a decision-making capacity is key.
A lobbyist helps businesses take an issue through the legislative process by working with a legislator to get the issue introduced as legislation and hopefully passed during the time the legislature meets.
Legislative Branch of Government How a Bill Becomes a Law