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Digital Advocacy: How Pharmacists Can Succeed in Government Relations Without a Lobbyist

As a member of the pharmacy community, you probably don’t need to be sold on the importance of engaging public officials. Members of Congress and state legislatures impact nearly everything pharmacists do and having representatives familiar with things we care about is vital to long-term success. But without high-priced professionals, how do pharmacists make that happen?

First, Identify Targets for Advocacy

You may have guessed that getting to know your U.S. Representative and Senators would be helpful, and you would be correct. However, they may not be the most important audience for your advocacy efforts.

Each member of the House employs a district director, and each Senator has a state director. These are the people who manage the members’ local offices spread around the district (House members) or the state (Senators). They are the eyes and ears of the member and regularly communicate with other very important staff members in the organization, such as the chief of staff and legislative director. They’re key policy advisors, trusted by the member of Congress to give advice on how to vote and which amendments to support or oppose. State legislators normally have equivalent staff to perform these functions.

There are other officials worth cultivating relationships with, too. Consider the mayor of your city or the supervisors of your township or county. Since these officials almost always have connections to members of Congress, they can be very effective in helping you advocate for issues that benefit you as a local professional with roots in the community.

The list could go on, but you get the idea. Nurture that group of people who are able to bolster your advocacy with the legislators who represent you in Washington, DC, and your state capital. Read More >>

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