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Market Research for Political Organizations Part 2

by | Apr 29, 2022 | General | 0 comments

This month I spoke with two lobbyists from two different associations both in the education field. Both lean Left. I figure I might as well talk to everyone who is willing to talk to me so I can absorb as much information as I can to create the best training possible. I find it weird that none of the conservative-leaning lobbyist groups like Oregonians for Liberty in Education, Oregonians for Medical Freedom, Oregon Christian Education Coalition or Associated Oregon Loggers responded to my emails. I think that’s a flaw in the conservativie movement. Conservatives don’t want to talk to people they don’t know because they may be a *dun dun dun* Democrat. *eye roll* I’m surrounded by this type of thinking a lot in the county and state Republican Party. I think this thinking is doing more harm than good. By not talking to the other side, we aren’t opening conversation and so we aren’t mending any relationships. We’re making assumptions about a person without even meeting that person. I suspect I’ll have to deal with this resistance throughout my political career so might as well get used to it and expect it.

Anyway, here are my notes from the one lobbyist I spoke with:

  • lobbyists work on field fundraising and strategy to get their policies past in the state legislature
  • lobbyists are assigned to campaigns based on endorsements
    • February is usually the month where candidates start to seek endorsements
  • Who’s affected by policy? strategize how to talk to the affinity groups
    • education policy, those affected are
      • parents, children, elderly, special ed teachers
    • explain why policy is good/beneficial for each group
  • Lobbyist skills
    • campaign communications
      • strong writing skills
      • public relations
        • working with people on telling their story
        • media relations
      • signature gathering
      • Understand the polling info to konw where to canvass
    • build trust in short amount of time
    • break down complex ideas
    • know how to leverage different relationships
    • interpersonal communication
  • Union skills
    • have to have thick skin
    • listening skills and tie that to the issue you’re working on
    • accepting where people are at
    • even-tempered
  • Good question to ask when forming policy: How did it get like this? Who’s in charge?
  • I need to answer: What does this training lead to? What set of skills will be gained if someone takes this training?

Here are the notes from the other lobbyist:

  • work (creating of bills) occurs in Education Committee
    • talking to legislatures, other lobbyists, testifying, meeting about bills that affect education
  • 197 school districts, 17 community colleges
  • When the Oregon legislature is not in session
    • lobbyists talk to members about what they want in law
  • School Board Training Division
  • Things lobbyists need to know:
    • communications
    • relationship building
    • how to organize
    • how to influence the process
    • how to get funding for their project
    • where money goes in schools
  • Training idea
    • How to Be a Strong Advocate
    • have to include a section about Equity
  • 3 types of lobbyists
    • government
    • association
    • contract
  • Suggested action steps
    • email Nathan Sosa (my State Rep.) to find out what kind of trainings are mandated or free to attend
      • trainings that legislatures have to take
    • contact Oregon Capitol Club
      • they’re the organization that has a list of all the lobbyists in Oregon and who their clients are
      • they are the base for all lobbyists groups

I also spoke with a campaign manager. Here are my notes from our discussion:

  • Candidates need communication skills
    • writing and speaking skills
      • can’t just think about your base. got to think about all the other fish (voters) you can catch/ you can get to vote for you
  • Candidates have a lack of community experience
    • need to be involved in the community
    • neighborhood asociation
    • political party
    • if you’re known in community, voters will know you and trust you
    • philanthropy
    • Rotary Club
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