The Washington Lobbyists

By Lester W. Milbrath | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
LOBBYISTS APPROACH GOVERNMENT -- DIRECT PERSONAL COMMUNICATION

In discussing the methods lobbyists use to communicate with governmental decision-makers, it might be wise to emphasize that lobbyists must not only send communications, they must also design them so that they will be favorably received. The only effective communications are those which penetrate the perceptual screen of the receiver. The concept of effective communication is close to David Truman's use of the word access to describe the prime motivation or purpose of lobbyists and lobby groups.1 Truman uses access in a slightly broader way to imply that persons or groups with high access have sufficient power and status to insure that the receiver will more or less comply with the behavior pattern suggested by the communication. Effective communication here means only that the receiver gives the message a considered hearing. Both of these concepts are somewhat stronger than the word entree, which connotes merely obtaining an appointment.

There are several barriers to effective communication that

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1
Truman ( 1951, Part III).

-209-

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