It’s important to participate in the day-to-day debates in Washington. Companies shouldn’t wait until there is an issue to cultivate relationships. When you’re walking in with a tough ask or even a small ask, it needs to be based on a record of engagement so you’re not starting from scratch.
This usually means having people in D.C., explaining your company, your issues, and why policymakers should care. Finding good storytellers who can work with people from far left to far right is a hard thing, but those are the people who do the best work.
There are other tools, too. If your company has either a product or a facility that you can display, that’s very effective. Take a politician or a member of the administration to your factory or research facility and show them what is being created. For those companies that produce something intangible or hard to show off, make a case for what the company has done for productivity or for the economy.