The new lobbyist rolodex: PR

  • Jennifer Thomlinson
Keywords: lobbying, government relations, public relations, PR, public affairs, advocacy, social media, Canada



Despite its long history and key role in the development of public policy, serving the needs of virtually every sector of society, lobbying is an underdeveloped area of academic research. This study aims to establish an understanding of lobbying at the federal level in Canada and its synergies with communications and public relations. Through a review of existing scholarly research, as well as in-depth interviews with 15 federally-registered lobbyists, five senior communications executives, and a survey of GR practitioners, this paper reveals that lobbying is very much aligned with public relations, especially as the online and social media landscapes continue to grow and evolve. It concludes that integration between the two fields is necessary, if not inevitable, and that greater public relations, marketing and social media expertise should be leveraged to position the government relations practice for a future that embraces the new digital rules of engagement. 


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