Professional lobbyists are expanding their activities beyond the traditional cajoling of legislators in the halls of the Capitol and are now using election-season tactics -- like polling, "grassroots" rallies, radio, print and television ads, and social media like Facebook and Twitter -- full-time to push legislation. As a result, the PR and lobbying fields have exploded with firms that do all of the above and more. Instead of playing an inside game aimed at persuading legislators (as lobbyists have done for decades), lobbying firms' new tactics are aimed at persuading the general public to their side. These days, most prominent lobbying firms have added PR and communications divisions or acquired entire PR firms. It also works the other way around: prominent PR firms are branching out into lobbying. Big lobby firms now employ full-time election-season tactics to help lobbyists "take their case to the public" and win. The idea is to get the public to pressure legislators instead of working to pressure legislators themselves. PR professionals and lobbyists alike have found that it's easy and effective to mobilize the public to support a cause by using 30-second ads that appeal to emotions, while at the same time they can avoid having to explain an issue in any substantive way.
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