Case #2222.0 and 2223.0

Lobbying and Advocacy: Theory and Practice Simulations

Publication Date: August 9, 2021
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These two simulations are part of the Lobbying and Advocacy: Theory and Practice course. Materials in this course are designed to help students understand how lobbying and advocacy impact the making of public policy. In doing so students will explore the power of persuasion, as well as the skills necessary to build an effective advocacy campaign. As part of the course, students will also investigate the ethics and regulation associated with lobbying. The course concludes by looking at the future of lobbying. The focus of the course is the United States, where lobbying is professionalized and transparent. Nevertheless, it briefly covers how lobbying is used in other geographies.

The two simulation exercises in these materials deal with fictional organizations and fictitious circumstances. They have been designed to engage students in two very different types of lobbying activities that help bring together the concepts, tools, and resources provided in the videos and podcasts and enable students to hone their lobbying skills.

SIMULATION 1 (HKS No. 2222.0): A fictional nonprofit focused on reducing sexual assaults is in need of help. Students are asked to advise the nonprofit on an Internet lobbying strategy that maximizes the impact of the organization’s spending without violating the spirit or letter of the IRS lobbying regulations for charitable organizations.

SIMULATION 2 (HKS No. 2223.0): Students have to develop a pitch for a lobbying campaign regarding the regulation of e-cigarettes and vaping products. They will have to campaign to the leadership of an organization with a significant interest in the issue. The organization they choose may have a pro- or anti-vaping stance. Additional guidance, resources, etc. are included in the materials.

The three distinct elements in this course (video lectures, simulations, and podcasts) can be taught individually or as a package. They bring together the theory and practice of lobbying to help students gain a deeper understanding of this important function.

Learning Objective:
The learning objectives of this course are the following:

1. Understand how lobbying and advocacy impact policy making.
2. Explore the historical context for the development of lobbying and advocacy in the US and around the globe.
3. Learn the regulatory environment that surrounds lobbying and advocacy.
4. Develop an effective lobbying and advocacy strategy/campaign.

Other Details

Teaching Plan:
Available with Educator Access
Case Authors:
Mark Fagan and Jack Schnettler
Faculty Lead:
Mark Fagan
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States