Facebook Hired 3 Lobbyist Firms That Prefer Face Time

Facebook is supplementing its strong internal staff of lobbyists with three outside lobbying firms that rarely use social media sites.

Facebook’s second quarter federal lobbying disclosures revealed more than just the $550,000 the company spent lobbying in the first half of the year.

The reports also identified three lobbying firms employed by the social networking site: Elmendorf Strategies; Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock and Telemedia Policy Corp.

Facebook already has a strong, internal government affairs shop, balanced equally among Republicans and Democrats and featuring former officials from the upper echelon of government, such as Joel Kaplan, who served in the Bush administration.

It’s not unusual for a company to turn to outside support, even with an internal team as strong as the one Facebook has assembled.

Additional resources could help Facebook expand its network of relationships on both sides of the aisle, or provide additional support in managing a portfolio of issues, from privacy to trade and everything in between.

What’s noteworthy is an analysis by Politico revealing that about half of the top-grossing lobbying firms have no discernible presence on Facebook.

The underlying reason for this digital disconnect, numerous lobbyists report in the story, is straightforward: They’d rather wield their influence in person… “plying a craft through the traditional but effective methods of sit-downs and phone calls.”

That seems to hold true for Facebook’s outside lobbying team. All seem to have a minor presence on the social networking site.

What do you think of Facebook’s external lobbying team keeping a low profile on the site?

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