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GolinHarris Public Affairs

Share Your Story: What Does a Lobbyist Do?

By Michael Fulton mfulton@golinharris.com

Company, Organization or Industry

GolinHarris Public Affairs in Arlington, VA

How I became a lobbyist

I worked on Capitol Hill for nearly 10 years and enjoyed public service, making things happen in my home state of West Virginia. One day, I received a call from a former Hill aide who had started the Washington, D.C. office of a new lobbying and communications agency, and I decided to see how good I was at advocating for projects and on complex issues. Nearly 22 years later, I am still at it because it is a stimulating profession that challenges one to be on top of his/her game every day. Doing good in life and bringing about good public policy is what it is all about.

An overview of my work as a lobbyist

At GolinHarris, as on Capitol Hill, my forte continues to be the ability to offer timely and accurate information and counsel on federal government initiatives. I have assisted local governments, companies, associations and academic institutions in achieving their government relations and communications goals. My experience in project development and knowledge of the legislative process enable me to recognize niches and identify the best way to carefully package proposals for optimum results.

I have utilized Congressional and federal agency meetings, grassroots campaigns, creative events, videos, survey research and media relations to enhance our lobbying activities and achieve tremendous government relations results for our clients.

As a result, I have helped our clients secure $3 BILLION in federal grants, contracts and appropriations. And, many of our clients have secured meaningful provisions in public laws or had resolutions passed recognizing their efforts. Special events and staff/industry briefings have built lasting relationships and achieved third party validation of my clients' products or services.

Lessons Learned

  • Lobbying is inherently a people business in spite of the increased use of technology, and you never want to compromise your ethics for short or long-term gains. Working with government should be viewed as a marathon and not as a sprint, as persistence and follow up pays dividends. Finally, as long as you lobby, you never quit learning the process, better ways to achieve results and meeting new and helpful people.

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