Securing a government contract takes time. Time to develop your product or service. Time to develop relationships with the government agencies and contractors (if you are subcontracting). Time to identify the opportunity. And time to secure the funding for the project based on the needs of government. Lobbying and other government relation’s work to be a very legitimate and necessary part of the federal governmental process. Moreover, decisions in Congress, and the various federal departments and agencies in the Executive Branch now clearly tend to have far more frequent direct and lasting positive or negative impacts on many organizations than ever before. Thus, organizations must have effective Washington (and Lansing) representation in order to compete effectively and to protect their vital interests. In addition, the legislative process is more sophisticated today than before. To help clients achieve their business objectives through the legislative and regulatory process, it is necessary to retain someone who specializes in legislative and government relation’s work and who has good relationships with elected officials, staff, and agency officials. Typically, this requires developing a carefully planned, well organized and ongoing government affairs program that utilizes highly skilled professionals who have broad substantive and political resources and experiences. Such a program, for example, usually includes establishing a careful monitoring system to provide &quot;early warning&quot; of potential actions, and then having the know-how and resources to affirmatively influence the federal actions from the beginning of the decision-making process. Outline:Process; Capabilties, Strategies, Timeframe, Laws, Advocacy
Army -- TRADOC System Manager RSM at Fort Rucker, Ala. Air Force -- Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, OH Navy -- Naval Research Laboratory @ the Pentagon -- Army: Force Development Directorate under the office of the Deputy COS for Operations Look for a DOD telephone directory Call them up and sell your product. WHAT DO YOU TALK ABOUT -- “Elevator pitch:” talk about your product, the need it satisfies, whether funding exists, who you approached, its applications
Introducing legislation or suggesting an amendment to a bill, even as simple as a modest change, is a process. With each step, we educate members of Congress and their staff and they continue to educate us. In approaching the issue, it important to be strategic. Start by reaching out to your local representatives and key members of key committees. Then identify and reach out to supporters in other key committees
In approaching the issue, it important to be strategic. We started reaching out to our local representatives and key members of the Armed Services Committee. We will also find support among the key committees and find opportunities to enhance our reputation on the Hill.
An effective government relation’s strategy requires the constant monitoring of news and legislative activity in addition to frequent relationship management and networking with key decision-makers. In approaching the issue, it important to be strategic. We started reaching out to our local representatives and key members of the Armed Services Committee. We also found supporters in other key committees such as Hoekstra (R-MI) and Rogers (R-MI) on Intelligence.
Industry Involvement -- by being involved in industry organizations, you also will have the opportunity to learn more about the issues, often times before they become issues. Regardless, we welcome the opportunity to monitor these issues on your behalf. Show local impact, national reach Back up with statistics How can a member promote what they did for you. Key Messages: What the problem; how your product solves the problem; does it create jobs
Members of Congress have schedulers in the district and in Washington that schedule appointments for the Member. Most ask for requests in writing. - If you can’t meet with the Member, then meet with the District Director - Monday or Friday work best, know when they have a recess Differences in meeting in Washington and the District (LEVIN STORY) Depending on your member and their committee, they might just refer you to their committee - Appropriations Committee - Authorization Committee I prefer to schedule meetings at my clients place of business so that they can see first hand what is in their district, but I also favor convenience to schedule a meeting around the Member. Members of Congress and staff know you are meeting with them for their help, so don’t be bashful in asking. However, always be upfront in terms of why you want it -- what is in it for you. Apple Pie example. AGENCY: Find the right office and point of contact for a brief intro. Ie. The company, the product, what it can do -- look at it as relationship building experience and for you to learn.
With so many issues, legislatures and government agencies to watch, it is easy to miss the subtle changes that can turn victories into defeats. Whatever happens, you need to know quickly and accurately how the playing field is titling. Even during the early stages of policy formulation or legislative drafting it is often possible to advocate changes or involve other governmental or political entities in the process to protect clients interests. Monitoring and low-profile intervention are often the most cost-effective way to deal with issues before they become problems. Through personal relationships, various subscriptions and the constant monitoring of the news and internet, it is important to monitor developing trends in Lansing and Washington and provides people with timely and accurate updates on government activities that have potentially adverse or beneficial effects on your organization.
Treat meetings as informational -- listen as much as you are there to teach.
October 1 -- Beginning of fiscal year Work begins for January meetings with staff Do due diligence on Members of state delegation, key committees, staff backgrounds and legislative opportunities Develop collateral -- Point of contact, corporate backgrounder, issue sheet,sample letters for your member to send to other members, file folder Review the appropriations and authorizations bills no for funding opportunities Identify which programs to pursue with the assistance of Congress Send preliminary background on the company to legislative aide responsible for your issue -- the work on a few. Identify which programs to pursue with the assistance of Congress Depending on if Congress’s passes all their appropriations bills and the new fiscal year is able to start without an CRs. During this time, staff have more time to meet This year is an exception because everyone is trying to position themselves for the new administration and there is still a lot of uncertainty as to who is doing what in terms of when the transition is completed.
Congress is generally on recess for Thanksgiving so try to arrange site visits with members of the state (and neighboring) delegation(s). Staff from Washington may also be back home During this time, staff have more time to meet This year is an exception because everyone is trying to position themselves for the new administration and there is still a lot of uncertainty as to who is doing what in terms of when the transition is completed. In meeting with staff, introduce your product, identify for them what you would like to do and suggest how you would like to accomplish that Then ask for their guidance and gauge their support.
Congress on recess Holiday season Checks start to get mailed if received funding from previous appropriations (as well as into January)
State of union around January 20 as is Inauguration Prior to the SOU, meet with staff to introduce your issue. In meeting with staff, introduce your product, identify for them what you would like to do and suggest how you would like to accomplish that Then ask for their guidance and gauge their support.
Staff are still working. More casual. Chicago/Indianapolis re Customs Border Protection Battle Creek re DRMS Alabama re Army Depot Schedule as many meetings as you can Before any hearings are held Congress has to agree on what the overall budget will be. The Senate just determined that last week with the appropriations hearings only beginning this week.
Authorizations are generally first to meet (v appropriations) to discuss the budget, and the first to publish their reports by identifying expenditures they are willing to authorize. This begins in February or early March with the formal committee report published in early May. Appropriations generally meets a few weeks after authorization committee to see what they are supporting.
May is their busiest month. They are working to complete hearings by Memorial Day recess. Election years always complicate things and almost always everything gets pushed into the next year. At this time, you have met with all the staff, brought Members to your facility. Now you just wait for the mark-ups to be completed to see if yours made it in. You should check-in from time-to-time to see when you can expect a mark up date. Authorization bills are marked up first, followed by appropriations a few weeks later Senate Appropriations Committee generally marks bills up in July and before the August recess Nothing will happen until after Labor Day, but staff continues to meet
I am not sure if you know this, but Washington was built on a swamp. And in the summer, it gets hot and humid. So everyone likes to get out. So generally, nothing happens in Washington until after Labor Day Should they still be in session, continue to track results and prepare for joint conference meetings with support letters
Congress returns after Labor Day Congress then returns to a packed agenda trying to get all the appropriation bills passed by Oct 1 Help the Service define its requirements and even assisting in securing funding on an accelerated basis for an item before a formal capabilities document is ever published.
In addition to statutory laws applicable to lobbyists and lobbying there are also internal congressional rules in both houses which set the ethical guidelines and standards of conduct for Members and their staff which we as lobbyists must be aware of. Lobbyists must certify that are familiar with the House and Senate Ethics laws Due to the substantial potential for undue or wrongful influence from those who are paid to influence the legislative process, there has developed a body of law and rules to regulate lobbying activities, as well as to regulate the activities of public officials in their interactions with those who lobby, particularly with reference to the potentially corrupting effect of large sums of money on the legislative.
In retaining a lobbyist, you want somebody who is familiar with your company and the issues that may impact its operations. You also want someone who is familiar with the legislative process, has the relationships with elected officials and staff and is familiar with the political landscape. Effective lobbyists are seen as honest brokers of information, not only to their clients but also to lawmakers. They must be knowledgeable about the issue at hand. And lobbyists need to understand what the media thinks about the issue, what academics think, who your opponents are. I work with a firm that knows the defense indstry
Members of congress like to support something that their constituents are familiar with and perhaps that they will get some visibility for. Procurement agents may not be aware of certain technology Therefore, it is important that as part of your strategy you engage the media.
Mich bio advocacy
Finding Advocates in Congress: To fill a need and serve a purpose November 19, 2008 www.northcoaststrategies.com www.cherrinlawgroup.com
Do you have something the government needs? <ul><li>Will the request satisfy a need in government? </li></ul><ul><li>What is its economic impact? e.g. jobs, R&D, life science </li></ul><ul><li>How far will it impact? i.e. what are the long term affects? </li></ul>
If you have something to share, share it <ul><li>Meet with your member of Congress (or District Director) </li></ul><ul><li>Then find the agency responsible for your product or service. </li></ul><ul><li>Let others know about through media relations </li></ul>
The Legislative process <ul><li>- Grants </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriations </li></ul><ul><li>Authorization/ public policy </li></ul>
The Role of Congress <ul><li>To be aware of and champion your product </li></ul><ul><li>To help open up doors for your company </li></ul><ul><li>To pass a budget that will fund your product </li></ul>
Government Relations Strategies <ul><li>Communicating with key decision-makers: -- Provide staff with helpful information -- Meet with elected officials (and/or staff) -- Constant monitoring of political and legislative activity </li></ul>
Government Relations Strategies <ul><li>An effective government relation’s strategy requires the constant monitoring of news and legislative activity in addition to frequent relationship management and networking with key decision-Makers. </li></ul>
Government Relations Strategies <ul><li>Meet with Congressional/ Committee Staff - In the District; and, - In Washington </li></ul><ul><li>Meet Agency staff </li></ul><ul><li>Find a way to demonstrate your product </li></ul>
Legislative Monitoring <ul><li>There are too many issues and agencies to monitor </li></ul><ul><li>By focusing on your issue, you can assist the member and their staff in the process by bringing issues, people and legislation to their attention. </li></ul><ul><li>Subscribe to RSS feeds, blogs and subscription services to monitor your industry. </li></ul><ul><li>Network with others in the industry </li></ul><ul><li>Attend industry events </li></ul>
Relationship Management <ul><li>Often times, companies need to make connections and build relationships with government officials or they may have an issue before Congress, the legislature, the governor, White House or executive agency. </li></ul><ul><li>The key is to build relationships with key government officials before you need to ask for their support. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, you need to establish a presence and establish relationships with key decision-makers so that when you need support, those who are in positions that can make decisions are familiar with you and the issues you are seeking support for. </li></ul>
Timeline October Company Congress Define upcoming years programs Identify priorities Prioritize programs Identify key staff and committees Research legislative opportunities Create a media relations strategy Prepare collateral material and supporting documents Oct. 1 - New FY Some bills may still not be passed
Timeline November Company Congress Determine what government needs you satisfy Complete issue sheets and point-of-contacts Schedule visits with agencies and Congress Arrange site visits Elections Thanksgiving Recess
Timeline: December <ul><li>Washington virtually shuts down between December 15 and January 15. </li></ul><ul><li>Those in Washington have a very limited schedule and Washington does not know how to deal with snow. </li></ul><ul><li>Send information via e-mail and continue to site visits and media relations </li></ul>
Timeline January Company Congress Meet with state delegation (in Washington) Follow-up from site visits Meet with staff and agencies to discuss your program and objectives. Congress is not in session. Members are back in their states or traveling as part of an official CODEL. Return for the State of the Union
Timeline February Company Congress Continue delegation meetings Meet with professional staff Begin applying for appropriations requests Schedule site visits by Members of Congress President’s budget is delivered and reviewed Hearings are scheduled
Timeline March Company Congress Appropriations requests are formally submitted. Complete all meetings Follow up with key staff to see if any additional information is needed Monitor the legislative process Hearings are held
Timeline April - May - June Company Congress Track results of Authorization Committees and mark-up Submit additional background to appropriations committee members K.I.T. with key contacts Bills are marked-up Conference Reports are issued. Joint conference committees meet
Timeline July - August Company Congress Schedule district meetings/briefings On recess
Timeline September Company Congress Track legislative process Joint committees continue to meet
Laws Governing Lobbying <ul><li>Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>House and Senate Ethics Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Election Campaign Act </li></ul><ul><li>The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Internal Revenue Code </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign Agents Registration Act </li></ul>
Finding a Lobbyist <ul><li>Turn to trade associations or ‘word-of-mouth’ </li></ul><ul><li>Do they understand your industry/product </li></ul><ul><li>Are they connected (and to whom) </li></ul><ul><li>Do they understand the process </li></ul><ul><li>How frequently will they communicate with you </li></ul>
Turning to the media <ul><li>To raise awareness of your product, turn to the media </li></ul><ul><li>Often times an article will peak the interest of a procurement officer </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a list of key media </li></ul><ul><li>Contact editors/reporters with a unique and timely story </li></ul>
www.northcoaststrategies.com www.cherrinlawgroup.com Daniel Cherrin (313) 300-0932 [email_address]