Coalition lobbying is the coordinated effort by diverse interest groups to lobby government with the aim of advancing a shared agenda and is one of the most frequently employed influence tactics used to produce policy change. Coalitions are influential because they increase the uniformity in the messages sent to government policymakers. These organized efforts often draw more attention to an advocacy position and allow decision-makers to know that an entire industry is united in its support for or opposition to proposed legislation.
Lobbying coalitions are frequently employed by trade associations who are familiar with coordinating activities of multiple players. By speaking with a “unified voice,” a coalition is more likely to achieve success in its lobbying efforts particularly if it regards a controversial issue or bill; elected officials are often more persuaded to act when there are multiple voices weighing in on a legislative matter.. Coalitions can also provide “cover” to individual companies or interest groups who may not want to be the lone voice publicly expressing their position.
In most instances, lobbying coalitions are informal. There is no formal staff or budget; instead, an individual or group convenes interested parties on an on-going basis to coordinate lobbying activities. The participating organizations utilize their own resources and staff to develop a strategy and tactics to be used by the group in its lobbying efforts. They allow a division of labor among their participants by ensuring the additional “people power” to communicate with a broader number of elected officials, staff, and media than if lobbying on their own.