Advocacy Consulting designed to help you succeed
A personal message from Ray LeBov
Governmental advocacy can be a complex and rigorous process. So much of your success depends on the planning and research you need to do, long before you seek an author for a bill, long before you schedule your meetings with the people whose support you need to get a bill passed or your issue addressed in the budget.
Our consulting services are designed to help all individuals and organizations involved in advocacy – whatever your level of experience – formulate and implement the right game plan for a successful lobbying campaign. Or help you get back on track when your game plan hits a snag.
These are some of the ways we can help you succeed:
• Assisting you with the four critical first steps of advocacy: Diagnosis, Analysis, Strategy (Planning) and Tactics (Execution). (For more detail about why these steps are critical to your success, scroll down to “The four critical first steps of advocacy.”)
Each of these steps has a number of moving parts, and you really can’t afford to skip any of them.
The first two steps help you know your issue, know its history, and identify your allies and your opposition, before you embark on the planning and execution phases of your campaign.
Then, in the planning and execution phases, we make sure you’ve identified who you need to approach and in what order, and coach you on how to present to them.
• Helping you develop a “Plan B” if your campaign hits a snag.
• Providing you with a guidance and support system custom-tailored to your needs and budget – because one size does not fit all when it comes to governmental advocacy.
• Helping you evaluate whether it’s better for your organization to handle its lobbying efforts in-house, or if you should hire a contract lobbyist.
These are some of the benefits of working with us:
• A total focus on your success as an advocate. When you succeed, we succeed.
• Unparalleled experience. Whatever you need done, we’ve done it. Both within the Legislature, and as a lobbyist dealing with the Legislature, the Governor’s Office, the Department of Finance, the media, and various state agencies. (See biography and testimonials below.)
• An insider’s knowledge of how state government “really works,” and the people, processes and best practices you need to be aware of in order to achieve success.
• The foresight, insight, experience and flexibility to help you develop a successful campaign; help you anticipate where obstacles may occur; and offer insights as to how to overcome them.
• Cost-effectiveness. For resource-constrained clients, our services can help you deliver the results you need without having to put a lobbying firm on retainer.
• Flexible fee structure. We can work on a project basis, a day rate, an hourly rate, as a one-off, or from an a la carte menu. Whatever best serves your needs.
• A comfort level in working with us. Governmental advocacy can be scary. We’re not. You’ll find us very user-friendly, non-judgemental, and encouraging.
“The minute you enter the Capitol with Ray LeBov, you know he’s
the right man for the job. It seems that everyone knows him, everyone
wants a minute of his time, and no door is closed to him.”
See the full client testimonial here
To explore how we can get you started on the path to success, click here or call 916-442-5009.
Your first half-hour of consultation is free if you register and prepay for either of the lobbying seminars presented by Capitol Seminars.
The four critical first steps of advocacy
I – DIAGNOSIS
The first aspect of an effective lobbyist’s approach to any effort is to diagnose all the factors and forces at play. You must ask these and other similar questions: who has a stake in the outcome? Why do they care about the issue? What can you present to them that they will respond to and why? How does the issue interplay with other issues?
II – ANALYSIS
Taking into account and building on the diagnosis, the next step is analysis. For example, if you are sponsoring a bill, you must find a legislator to be the author. To determine who you should ask to carry your bill, you will want to consider a wide range of factors, such as the potential author’s subject matter expertise, their relationship with all four caucuses, their committee and/or leadership role. Other considerations include determining which legislative staff member is likely to be assigned responsibility for your bill and the potential the authorship might present for building a beneficial future relationship with the legislator.
III – STRATEGY
A keen knowledge of legislative processes, procedures and rules is necessary but is not alone sufficient for success. Looking at the totality of forces potentially at play and how they all interrelate, you must create your “game plan.” In the case of a sponsored bill, the game plan is essentially a road map that will guide you from introduction to gubernatorial signature. It includes such things as: strategies for dealing with allies and opponents; developing your best arguments in favor of, and rebuttals to arguments against, your bill; identifying your best witnesses for the various committee hearings; how and when to get positive media coverage.
Even with the best game plan (including planning for foreseeable contingencies), you are still likely to encounter twists and turns in your path toward success, occasioned by unforeseeable factors, forces and events not in your control. You must have the flexibility and nimbleness to re-assess and redraw your strategy as often as warranted.
IV – TACTICS
A strategist is someone who sees the whole picture, and can visualize the end-game. A tactician is the one who gets you there. Or, as Sun Tzu (Chinese General, 500 BC) said: Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
The last part of being an effective legislative advocate is the ability to implement that wonderful game plan that you drew up in your role as strategist. This can involve a wide range of skills as you perform the day-to-day activities necessary and appropriate for attaining your goal.