This past Friday, I had the opportunity to attend a Government Affairs and Lobbying panel at the Capitol Building. I was showered with enticing information on what it’s like to work in the government relations sector of public relations from a group of professional lobbyists in the Lansing area. Recently changing my major from kinesiology to journalism with a minor in public relations, and I have been curious as to what this profession entails.
What is Lobbying?
This is a form of advocacy meant to influence a decision being made at a federal, state, or local level. Within government affairs, lobbyists, (the people doing the pursuing) may attempt to sway a legislative official’s opinion one way or another.
How is this done?
Here is the best advice the professionals provided in order to be successful in the career:
- Sell yourself
- DO YOUR RESEARCH!
- Don’t advocate for something you don’t believe in
- Constantly be “on the ball”
- Own it!— Confidence is key
What are the pros of this career?
- Lucrative business— if you do well, it pays well
- 24 – hour job
- Opportunity to network is everywhere— each of the six professionals have at one point worked with one another
- Some businesses offer the choice to travel frequently
What are the cons of this career?
- 24 – hour job
- Making yourself available to your client more than your family
- High stress levels
What if I want to pursue a career in this field?
- EXPERIENCE. EXPERIENCE. EXPERIENCE.
- Internship on a legislative level
- Build communications skills
Overall, a career in government affairs is appealing to me as I continue my education. I have the utmost respect for the daily accomplishments of our government and it would be an honor to one day work in such a respectable environment.
Who attended the panel?