Where do I learn to pick an ear and keep it?
November 15, 2008 5:29 AM   Subscribe

I need to learn state-level and/or federal-level lobbying. Where can I find classes, events, or seminars to study and observe this? I am in the Washington, DC-area, but I'm willing to travel 1,000 miles or less.
posted by parmanparman to Law & Government (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Many of the universities in the area offer Masters programs in Strategic PR. You may want to look into those.
posted by The White Hat at 6:43 AM on November 15, 2008

A significant chunk of lobbying success comes down to familiarity with the particular special interest, and the ability to build relationships with people in power. These subjective traits aren't very easy to quantify and classify into a seminar.

If you aren't successful at finding a class like the one you seek, you might look instead to build a mentor-type relationship with actual lobbyists. This could give you an opportunity to understand their trade first-hand.
posted by pineapple at 10:07 AM on November 15, 2008

You could try finding an entry-level job and/or internship with a lobbying firm. I think you could learn a lot even just being in an office with working lobbyists, especially if you get to sit in on meetings to take notes/get coffee/etc.
posted by gyc at 2:58 PM on November 15, 2008

Long story short, you can't really take classes to learn how to lobby.

A lobbyist is only as good as his or her Rolodex. The best and most effective lobbyists are those that know an issue area intimately and have the connections to be able to land the right meetings. For this reason, most lobbyists at one point or another have worked in politics as either a politician or a staffer.

If you're in DC I'd suggest trying to get yourself a job or internship on the Hill. Granted, this won't turn you into a lobbyist overnight, it'll give you plenty of opportunity to observe lobbyists as they come and go.
posted by ASM at 4:07 PM on November 15, 2008

Ditto on the Rolodex and the ability to build relationships. Find a job or internship to learn.
posted by salvia at 10:58 PM on November 15, 2008

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