Interest groups alert the public of new policy issues, petition for the policies that they prefer, and donate funds (soft money) to politicians during campaigns. They also attempt to involve the mainstream media as well as social media to fortify their endeavors. The groups employ different tactics to influence the public policies to favor their opinions and objectives. The business community has the financial possessions typically to influence politicians by funding their election campaigns. The donations create a debt by the candidates to help out the business people with different issues in case they succeed in their political endeavors.
Lobbyists and individuals from big companies also attempt to have a direct conversation with the politicians to inform them of their opinions. They use reasons like job loss or financial crises to convince the leaders to support their policies. For instance, they might argue that the systems they are fighting for will prevent job loss or strengthen the economy to avoid cases of a financial crisis in the future. The arguments, however, may not be entirely factual as the lobbyists may be using them as scare tactics.
Environmentalists do not usually have the financial muscle to influence the political figures. Therefore, they seem to depend more on the mainstream media and other similar platforms to encourage the politicians to do the necessary. They use social media to engage the younger generation to the environmental matters, who then bolster their efforts in pressurizing the government to take the required actions. For the scientists, they make use of the results of various research studies to persuade the political community to enact necessary policies. For instance, they can release studies on various health issues that require government attention. The scientists make sure that the reviews have high integrity by involving the public and using letters signed by noticeable persons in the field. They do this to influence the politicians to back their efforts in creating better healthcare policies among other types of programs.
Apart from politicians vying for political seats, lobbyists and interest groups also direct their exertions to the various congressional committees dealing with legislative matters, executive departments and other agencies whose role is to enforce regulations. Lobbyists rely on their ties with members of the three bodies and ensure that they have regular contacts with them. Furthermore, some lobbyists may have been public servants sometimes back. Therefore, they may have worked or interacted with the same individuals they are currently lobbying, and this encounter gives them essential understandings of how people accomplish various goals in the public arena in the US.
As mentioned above, it is the various committees in Congress that deal with the critical legislative tasks. Lobbyists attend the committee sittings and provide evidence to prove the importance of the laws that they want the Congress to pass. They are erudite individuals, and they use their time in explaining why the policies they are proposing are essential rather than only asking for their enactment. Major events also influence public strategies. For instance, national elections give the business community and other interested parties a chance to change the election candidates. They finance their campaigns with hopes that they will benefit from their votes through the passing of policies that will favor their businesses.
There are several examples where lobbyists and interest groups have played a significant role in enacting public policies in the US. For instance, in 1986 the government partnered with these groups in classifying tobacco as a carcinogenic substance. Again, in 1999 interest groups played a vital role in creating the guidelines on religious expressions in education institutions (Grossmann 171-192). Lobbyist and interest groups have also substantially contributed to the policies for and against gun control in the US.
In sum, lobbyists and interest groups influence public policies. They use strategies such as financial donations to politicians and the media to ensure that their preferred laws sail through the Congress. Scientists, such as the medical community also use research studies to influence the politicians to enact favorable policies.
Grossmann, Matt. “Interest Group influence on US policy change: an assessment based on
policy history.” Interest Groups and Advocacy, vol.1, no.2, pp. 171-192