For lobbyists, session days are our busiest days of the week. The amount of preparation, organization, and execution must be flawless if daily goals are to be met. Most days start early. I begin my day at 6:30 am scanning news updates, checking legislative agendas, and reviewing emails from clients and colleagues. Ensuring that I am up to date on all communication before the day gets started is one of my most important activities of the day.
By 8 am I am starting my commute to Lansing. During the hour drive, I’ll listen to a podcast or make phone calls to legislators to check in with them, or their staff, before the day gets away. Typically, once committees start for the day, it is almost impossible to check in with them. Therefore, using the morning to commute to call them is critical, especially if there is an active issue before the legislature.
With the day well on the way, meetings with legislators, government officials, and/or clients take place over the next few hours. During those meetings, I’m mostly advocating for various clients’ interests and discussing the potential impacts of proposed bills. These meetings are essential to winning on behalf of clients. This is where we can educate decision-makers and help them understand the impact on the client’s respective industry.
On a busy day, taking a solo working lunch is a great way to unwind, while still keeping your day and work moving forward. In addition, after meetings all morning, some alone time is a healthy escape from a busy day.
My afternoons are typically an extension of the morning. I engage in more meetings or discussions, focusing on analyzing proposed laws, crafting persuasive arguments, and preparing materials to influence decision-makers. Depending on the legislative schedule, having session playing in the background or a quick walkover to the capitol is always warranted.
The most enjoyable time of the day is the late afternoon when we network. Networking can include anything from hosting drinks with decision-makers to attending fundraisers or gatherings aimed at building relationships with key stakeholders.
Some evenings include a dinner with legislators to continue the relationship-building activities crucial for supporting clients’ causes. After dinner or drinks, I’ll again use my commute to make phone calls. However, in the evening I shift to the personal side. I’ll call home to check in with my family and return the other many personal phone calls missed during the day.
Once home, I like to do a final check-in of emails, review any pending tasks, and make sure there are no emergencies before shutting down for the day.