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« Lobbying and the media » “ how to use the media to influence decisionmakers. Conflict of goals between communication officers and lobbyists” Almaty 2014
Lobbying means persuading individuals or groups with decision-making power to support a position you believe is right. When you do your organisational planning it is important to identify other stakeholders whose co-operation or influence you need. So you lobby people with power to act in support of the needs and interests of those who do not have direct power and influence. Lobbying can be used to influence anyone with power.
Media attention is a powerful persuader and the more publicity you can get for your issue the better. It always helps to make individual contact with a reporter who is prepared to follow the issue through.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2000 alone, the parent companies of the USA big five television and cable broadcasters (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox) spent close to $27 million on lobbying firms. And that excludes the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) which spent $5. 7 million the same year. According to the Center for Public Integrity, from 1998 until 2003, when the Federal Communications Commission considered another round of "relaxing" ownership regulations, "the lobbying expenditures by the broadcast industry ha(d) risen 74 percent. "
Lobbying often implement the use of media to expand their outreach. Campaigns are developed and are published in all forms of media ranging from television to magazines and internet. Because lobbying is geared toward local organizations and communities, these types of media outlets are used mainly by large associations that can afford them. Smaller organizations tend to use free media on public television, radio and other smaller outlets. Other forms of free media that make a large impact are things like boycotting, protesting and demonstrations.
Nowadays professional networks are an increasingly essential decision-support tool, because decision-makers with more networks are more likely to gather opinions through their online network, read blogs and query the Twitter channel as early steps in the decision process.
“Public affairs is a people industry, engaging and advocating stakeholders face-to-face. Most campaigns are based on word of mouth. Public affairs experts are still getting their heads around social media – though once they get the hang of it, things will change, ” says Jen Pufky at Insight Public Affairs. THERE HAVE BEEN A FEW EXAMPLES OF UK SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS ACHIEVING EXTRAORDINARY GOALS, FROM THE 2007 ONLINE ROAD PRICING PETITION TO FANS OF RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE DRIVING THE BAND TO THE NUMBER ONE SLOT IN THE CHRISTMAS POP CHARTS. BUT WHILE ONLINE CAMPAIGNING MAY ROUSE PEOPLE TO IMMENSE PASSION ON ISSUES CLOSE TO THEIR HEARTS, THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS INDUSTRY HAS YET TO APPLY THIS POTENTIAL TO LOBBYING GOVERNMENT.
NOW CONSIDER THE PR PROFESSION, IN ORDER TO MAKE IT CLEAR WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMMUNICATION OFFICERS AND LOBBYISTS.
PR - is, in a broad sense, the management of public opinion, building relationships between society and the public authorities or commercial organizations, including, for an objective understanding of the social, political and economic processes. One section of PR-service is not only responsible for relations with society in general, but also for the establishment of relations with the authorities at various levels and branches of government. Such activities of so-called GR-managers akin to lobbying. They organize meetings with government officials, provide the social image of business projects, or those of other companies. And, of course, participate in election campaigns, nurturing ambitious plans for the long-term cooperation with the politician. Many large Russian companies since the mid 90 s began to organize such departments in their firms. In some European countries, the term "lobbyist" is generally not used because of the negative connotation of public perception. And yet there is a difference in the public relations specialist and lobbyist.
Lobbyist in the modern world - a "free artist". This is different from the GR-manager working for a certain company and get paid. His salary is much higher, as it has kind of a fee or a percentage of the deals concluded. Lobbyist can work with several customers who chooses himself and manager protects only the interests of his campaign. But the most important difference from the lobbyist profession related and similar is the political color of their activities.
Communication officers also operate primarily economic functions. Lobbying is like many modern professions, such as the consultant on government relations or public relations manager. That is why there is confusion about the content of the term. The townsfolk understand it as advocacy, something akin to the work of a lawyer. Some experts distinguish this type of activity as one of the technology department of Public Relations (PR). However, most researchers agree on the specifics of lobbying as a separate activity, especially in a market economy and capitalism. Big businesses and companies interested in establishing links with politicians, as well as the past with them.
BASED ON THIS, WE CAN SEE THAT ALTHOUGH PR AND LOBBYISTS ARE SIMILAR IN THE WORK, BUT THEIR GOALS ARE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT, AS WELL AS WORKING CONDITIONS.