THE CLASSIC APPROACH TO evaluating the plethora of lobbying organizations that operate in Washington, D.C. is to simply compare the earnings of the different shops. However, boutique firms have always argued that this is unfair evaluation as it is disproportionately advantageous to the many large lobbying firms that occupy the district. To provide a more balanced and clear picture of the lobbying landscape other metrics must also be taken into account. In the Factors of Influence Report, Lobbyists.info utilizes more than ten metrics in its analytical model to more accurately assess the amount influence lobbying firms have.
Similarly, a new report by the Hill, it found that lobbying firms considered client retention and satisfaction to be the single metric that mattered most. Donald Pongrace, the head of public law and policy at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP supports this claim stating, “At the end of the day, the critical issue here isn’t what ranking you get, it’s client satisfaction and trust. If clients trust you with their problems, you don’t need to worry about your ratings or chasing the next piece of business.”
In regards to client retention rate it seems that boutique lobbying firms have an advantage over larger, multifaceted firms. This is exemplified by the CGCN group, which preformed remarkably well with a 91% retention rate over one a year period and an 83% retention rate over a three year period. The Hill and Bloomberg Government found that “the data also separates pure advocacy operations from both law and lobby firms — finding the bigger policy and legal shops to have an overall lower three-year client-retention rate and less revenue per lobbyist.”