Before you start lobbying, here are 70 questions to answer

I just re-read some excellent political campaign advice from Chris Rose. His advice is well worth listening to. He’s the man behind Greenpeace’s Brent Spar win.

3 Stories

Chris recommends having 3 stories for your campaign

1. “The Popular story – understandable (test it out) by your relatives, neighbours etc.. The default story to use if in any doubt, and the only one to use with ‘the public’. No jargon.
2. The Professional story – the way the policy community see it. Jargon usually required here. This is the default internal campaign language but must not be allowed into the general public or media domain except maybe with trade/ professional press or policy community blogs etc.
3. The Political story – what’s in it for me as a politician (or CEO etc). This is not to be confused with the Professional story. Top decision makers are not interested in your campaign goals (that only annoys them), they are interested in the benefits to them and their organisation in terms of profits, career prospects, gaining advantage, being popular, not losing their job, and so on. These are your ‘benefit’ selling points. See also Bryceson’s Political Checklist.”

My campaign checklist

My checklist evolves over time. The older I get, and more campaigns I loose and win, I deliberately try and learn lessons from success and failure. I refine the process each time.

What I know that a lot of political campaign success is down to hard work by preparation. Getting the simple things right like contact lists of the key people or knowing the process you are involved in, is vital. Too many people forget it.

The more questions below you can not answer yes to, I think the less chance you have of winning. The questions have a common question “Do you know” and all you need to do is give the answer yes or no. The more positive answers the more you have a good chance to win.

If you were going to start a legislative campaign, here is a checklist


What are you dealing with
1. Do you know what legislative process are you dealing with? yes [ ] no[ ]

Tick which is applicable

Delegated Act
Implementing Act

2. Do you know where the proposal is in the procedure? yes [ ] no[ ]

3. Did the proposal secure a positive or negative opinion from the RSB? yes [ ] no[ ]
4. Do you know how the proposal went through ISC yes [ ] no[ ]
5. Do you know many Member States intervened in the ISC yes [ ] no[ ]
6. Did you get Member States to intervene yes [ ] no[ ]
7. Did you provide information to the public consultation to the Road Map yes [ ] no[ ]
8. Did you feed into the Impact Assessment yes [ ] no[ ]

9. Do you know where are you in the process yes [ ] no[ ]
Tick where the initiative is:

10. Do you know what your campaign budget is yes [ ] no[ ]
11. Do you know who signs off on the campaign plan yes [ ] no[ ]
12. Do you know signs off on the campaign budget yes [ ] no[ ]
13. Do you know who is in campaign team yes [ ] no[ ]
14. Do you know who decides on policy yes [ ] no[ ]
15. Do you know who decides on the key decisions yes [ ] no[ ]
16.Do you have SMART objectives yes [ ] no[ ]


Background Research
17. Do you know where do the key votes stand today on your issue(s) yes [ ] no[ ]
18. Have previous votes backed you yes [ ] no[ ]
19. Do you know which politicians (MEPs/Ministers) back you yes [ ] no[ ]
20. Do you know which politicians are against you yes [ ] no[ ]
21. Do you know which politicians can be swayed yes [ ] no[ ]
22. Do you know what the vote would be if it were held today yes [ ] no[ ]

23. Do you have a persuasive  position paper yes [ ] no[ ]
24. Do you have persuasive communication material to back your case yes [ ] no[ ]
25. Do you have amendments and explanations for your issue yes [ ] no[ ]
26. Have your tested your positions on key decision makers yes [ ] no[ ]

27. Do you have a working relationship with them yes [ ] no[ ]
28. Do you have their phone and email yes [ ] no[ ]
29. Do you have a local link with the politicians yes [ ] no[ ]

30. Do you know the Commission’s negotiation team  yes [ ] no[ ]
31. Do you know the Commission’s ISC leads at Service level  yes [ ] no[ ]
32. Do you know the Commission ISC Cabinet leads yes [ ] no[ ]
33. Do you know the Commissioners dealing with your issue yes [ ] no[ ]

34. Do you know the Rapporteurs yes [ ] no[ ]
35. Do you know the Shadow Rapporteurs yes [ ] no[ ]
36. Do you know the MEPs Advisers yes [ ] no[ ]
37. Do you know the Group Advisers yes [ ] no[ ]

Council/ Member States
38. Do you know the Chair of the Working Party yes [ ] no[ ]
39. Do you know the Working Party officials yes [ ] no[ ]
40. Do you know the lead Perm Rep leads yes [ ] no[ ]
41. Do you know the officials leading on the file back home yes [ ] no[ ]
42. Do you know the Minister leading on the file yes [ ] no[ ]
43. Do you know the Adviser to the Minister yes [ ] no[ ]
44. Do you know key decision makers in the Ministry yes [ ] no[ ]

Opinion Influencers
45. Do you know the key journalists on the issue in Brussels  yes [ ] no[ ]
46. Do you know the key think tank experts on the issue in Brussels yes [ ] no[ ]
47. Do you know the key journalists in your key countries on the issue yes [ ] no[ ]
48. Do you know the key think tank experts in your key countries on the issue yes [ ] no[ ]

49. Do you understand the process you are dealing with  yes [ ] no[ ]
50. Have you worked on the process before yes [ ] no[ ]
51. If not, can someone assist you yes [ ] no[ ]
52. Do you have an accurate copy of the process chart yes [ ] no[ ]
53. Do you know the triggers to move between the steps yes [ ] no[ ]

Think like a lawyer – you are looking to influence law making
54. Do you know the case your opponents are using against you  yes [ ] no[ ]
55. Do you have your response prepared yes [ ] no[ ]
56. Does you have a response that speaks to politicians yes [ ] no[ ]
57. Does your response speak to civil servants yes [ ] no[ ]
58. Do you have a response that speak to the public  yes [ ] no[ ]
59. Do you have indpendent evidence to support you  yes [ ] no[ ]
60. Do you have a legal opinion to support your case yes [ ] no[ ]
61. Did you particpate in all the preparation phases yes [ ] no[ ]
62. Did you suppy the answers yes [ ] no[ ]
63. Did you supply the points your now rely on yes [ ] no[ ]
64. Do you have a scientific /technical case that concerns the other side yes [ ] no[ ]

Public Communication

65. Does you have a response that speaks to politicians yes [ ] no[ ]
66. Does your response speak to civil servants yes [ ] no[ ]
67. Do you have a response that speak to the public  yes [ ] no[ ]
68. Does your story speak to settler, prospectors, and pioneers yes [ ] no[ ]
69. Do you have communication material available  yes [ ] no[ ]
70. Do you have someone to run the publication communication work  yes [ ] no[ ]


It is long post and list. The more  questions you can answer immediately, the less work you will have in the future, and the more chance you will win.