How to measure lobbying?

People outside the European Parliament in Brussels

On 23 April 2023, SEAP hosted a panel discussion on the topic of measuring the success of lobbying efforts. The event brought together a diverse range of speakers from various sectors, each offering unique perspectives and valuable insights into this complex matter.

The panellists included David Coleman, Vice-President of McDonald’s; Alan Hardacre, Co-Founder of Advocacy Academy; Adriana Nosewicz, Managing Director of EUSalt; and Isabel Paliotta, Policy Officer at the European Environmental Bureau. Moderator of the discussion was SEAP Board member Marco Baldoli.

Throughout the discussion, the speakers emphasized the importance of striking a balance between quantitative and qualitative measures when evaluating lobbying success. They highlighted that while quantitative metrics such as legislative wins, costs, and media coverage are easier to measure, qualitative factors such as credibility, trust, and expertise also play a crucial role.

Event at the Press Club Brussels

Takeaways

One key takeaway was the necessity for associations to set clear objectives and key results to demonstrate their value to their members. It was noted that many associations currently lack defined objectives, indicating a need for greater clarity and focus in lobbying efforts.

The panellists also discussed the challenges of harmonizing member positions at both the national and EU levels and emphasized the importance of collaboration and alignment among members to achieve common objectives. Additionally, they stressed the significance of credibility, trust, and transparency in building successful lobbying campaigns.

Furthermore, the speakers addressed the evolving landscape of lobbying. They acknowledged the potential impact of artificial intelligence on the profession and the need for continued professionalization and training opportunities for lobbyists.

In conclusion, the event provided valuable insights into the methods and challenges of measuring lobbying effectiveness. The participants left with a deeper understanding of the multifaceted nature of lobbying success and the importance of adopting comprehensive evaluation strategies in public affairs. SEAP looks forward to continuing the conversation and supporting professionals in navigating the dynamic world of lobbying.