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Inside Game vs. Outside Game

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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The inside game involves direct contact with policymakers. The inside game works best when the issues are narrow and technical, and involves:

  1. Congress, when lobbyists are at committee hearings testifying and giving information.

  2. the Executive branch, when lobbysts go to executive bureaucracies such as the Federal Trade Commission.

  3. the bureaucracy, when lobbyists make meetings with bureaucrats.

  4. courts, when lobbyists file amicus briefs to support a case

The outside game tries to shape public opinion using paid media, essentially using votes to control policymakers. Although the outside game still involves communication with policymakers and organizing at the precinct level, it primarily relies on paid media (television commercials, newspaper, radio and internet) and free media (getting news coverage). The outside game works best when the issues are broad and easily to understand.