In 2015, Harvard University published a study that revealed the nature of lobbying: relationships.
Contrary to public misconception, the daily life of firm lobbyists is not filled with glamorous parties and smoke-filled backroom politicking where lobbyists engage in quid pro quo transactions of money for policy. Rather, as described, these firm lobbyists focus their professional attention on honing the fine art of building relationships, primarily with members of Congress and their staffs, but also with potential clients, coalitions, and other individuals and organizations related to their clients and issue areas. And this focus on relationships is reflected in the practices that fill their daily lives as they build, preserve, and then commodify these relationships.https://ethics.harvard.edu/files/center-for-ethics/files/therelationshipmarket-v17-3.pdf?m=1424704075
Further Reading & Research
- Check out OpenSecrets.org to see who is lobbying in D.C. right now.
- Read The Business of America is Lobbying by Lee Drutman
- The Relationship Market by by Maggie McKinley and Thomas Groll, Harvard University