Commgress Lobbying: Communication as a Lobbying Tool for the Freedom of Information Bill

Abstract

Lobbying is a communicative process, and its effectiveness cannot be only determined by the success of an approved bill, but by the ability to formulate a contingency plan to address situational changes in the arena.

Using Jaatinen’s (2000) New Model of Effective Lobbying for Conflict Accommodation, the study explored how the Right to Know, Right Now! (R2RKN) coalition used communication as a lobbying tool in connection with the proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) bill of 2013 in the 16th Congress.

Analyzing online news articles, tweets, and an interview, the study was able to identify lobbying tactics and strategies utilized by R2RKN, and also the contingency factors (i.e. decision-maker, competition, and mass media and citizens) and their position regarding the FOI Bill. Under each contingency situation, varied by the attitude of the contingency factors, the model prescribes a set of tactics to utilize.

The lobbying strategy of the R2RKN matched all strategies and tactics prescribed by the model, except doing campaign contributions, and has won over the competition and the mass media and citizens. This study considers R2RKN as an effective lobbyist; however it has failed in securing beneficial deals with the decision-maker, which has led to the non-passing of their proposed FOI bill.


Olivan, I. D. J. & Paredes, A. I. (2016). Commgress Lobbying: Communication as a Lobbying Tool for the Freedom of Information Bill, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

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