This paper focuses on the reasons that Italian interest groups decide to lobby together with like-minded groups (‘friends’), or engage in networking activity with groups that have conflicting interests (‘foes’), in order to influence public policy. How often do Italian interest groups recur to these lobbying strategies? What favours the construction of a coalition of more or less different interest groups lobbying on a particular issue? What, on the contrary, influences the decision to lobby individually? In order to answer these questions, original data coming from a national survey conducted on 1277 Italian interest groups are provided. Empirical results are interesting: from a descriptive point of view, business groups are more likely to engage in joint lobbying than other group types, whereas the same holds true for unions with respect to networking with rival organizations. From an explanatory point of view, groups that perceive themselves to be threatened by rivals’ influence in policymaking, or by environmental challenges, are more likely to work in coalitions and to engage in networking: resources do not matter in ‘absolute’ and ‘objective’ terms, but in ‘relative’ and ‘subjective’ ones.