Thursday, March 31, 2016

Think Tanks Increasingly Important to Policy Campaigns

Here is more from Politico:
Outside organizations such as think tanks and pressure groups are increasingly important to policy campaigns, according to Brunswick Insight's new survey of 19 public affairs heads from advocacy groups, think tanks, trade associations, and companies. On issues including the Ex-Im Bank, SOPA-PIPA, sentencing reform, oil exports, fiduciary rule and trade promotion authority, outside groups were crucial. Campaigns now need vectors besides shoe-leather lobbying: As one respondent put it, "the lobbyists in direct communications with staff and members is probably the most minor element."

Respondents said outside groups are critical allies but can be hard to find and even harder to control. Think tanks like Brookings, the Heritage Foundation and the Center for American Progress lend credibility, but they're expensive and academic freedom makes them hard to keep on message. Advocacy groups such as Americans for Tax Reform and Human Rights Campaign have strong expertise in narrow and specific issues but can be purists loath to compromise and eager to take credit. Ideological groups such as Heritage Action or Americans for Democratic Action also have sway but can be polarizing.
The Readmond Group commissioned the survey.

So remember, for your policy goals to be implemented, you need both lobbyists AND think tanks.  Or, you can hire shops like Podesta Group, a lobby firm that will help you lobby think tanks so they can lobby the government and other groups.  It doesn't get any more Washington than that.