The American League of Lobbyists (ALL), the trade association for lobbyists, is changing its name to the Association of Government Relations Professionals (AGRP). It will also introduce a new “tag” line – “Voice of the Lobbying, Public Policy and Advocacy Professions.”
In a survey of the association Board and its members as well as after three focus groups, it was found that the membership no longer views itself “only as lobbyists.” Association President Monte Ward said that today’s professionals consider the time spent in actually advocating a legislative position as a fraction of their duties.
The simple fact is that everyone lobbies – a teenage son or daughter lobbies their parent’s for the car keys; non-profit groups lobby legislators on issues important to them; and, despite its public disdain for lobbyists, the White House lobbies Congress continually. It is just that some people do this full time as their profession.
It now seems these people have concluded that their job is broader than lobbying and they want to “re-brand” themselves to reflect work in public policy research, issues management, public affairs and the like. There is also no doubt that there is seen to be an advantage not to be labeled exclusively as a lobbyist.
Time will tell if this name change works. In the meantime call them what they want, from a business perspective the job entails communicating a company’s position to federal and state legislators.