2010 saw a proliferation as “lobbying PR,” representing a shift to a more offensive, proactive approach to controlling the profession’s image, as opposed to a defensive, reactive stance it currently takes. Perhaps it is because anti-lobbyist rhetoric has been at an all-time high since the 2008 election. Or maybe it is in response to executive orders banning lobbyists from the Obama Administration and other restrictive policies that have made it more difficult for lobbyists to do their jobs.
Whatever the cause, we took a look at the top five pro-lobbying videos circulating around the internet to kick the year off right and examined what each was trying to say about the profession.
- Billy Wants a Dog, Hill & Knowlton’s Dick and Jane-esque explanation of why corporate interests retain lobbyists is more of a marketing piece for the firm than an advocate for the profession. Still, by default, it does include some pro-lobbying points, reminding us that “there are unintended consequences when governments act,” suggesting that “experts help you communicate with the government.” The very simple, no-frills animation reveals that lobbyists aren’t scoundrels after all, but experts in their chosen fields.
- This is Tracy Sherman. Tracy is a lobbyist. follows a woman on her way to her office, where it is revealed that she is a lobbyist (cue dramatic music). Tracy goes on for seven minutes to discuss what it is that she and other lobbyists do.
- In his animation, How It Happens: Lobbyists., David Gillette attempts to showcase the need for lobbyists: “Poof! Welcome to a world without lobbyists! You may not believe it, but we just lost a tremendous amount of legislative expertise…as a result, our government is now almost entirely driven by the limited knowledge of our elected officials,” he says. Gillette breifly explores the age old question: Are lobbyists evil, adding “What we think about them probably rests more on the issues they represent than the actual existence of the profession.”
- What is Lobbying and Why is it Important? is the American League of Lobbyists’ explanation of lobbying as “your first amendment right” that needs exercising and protection, featuring several prominent DC-area lobbyists.
- The Rap on Lobbyists begins “If you want city hall to take your call, if you want the state to legislate, if you advocate for the grassroots, be honest. Who else is going to get your words heard in Congress?”