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Conferences WPQC The Journal

Meet with Elected Officials

Attending an in person meeting with an elected official or their staff is one of the most impactful ways to influence the official’s position on an issue. It can also help you begin to build a personal relationship with the legislator so that they start seeing you as a trusted resource for pharmacy related topics and questions in their district. 

How to Schedule a Meeting

1. Call your legislator’s office to set up an appointment. If you don’t know who your legislators are, click here and search your address.

2. You are represented in the Legislature by both a Representative and a Senator. You can make appointments with either legislator, or both.

3. Let PSW’s Director of Public Affairs know that you have scheduled a meeting. PSW can provide issue briefs and informational packets that you can use during the meeting. 

Attending a Meeting

1. Know which issues you want to discuss, including the specific bill number and popular name for any corresponding bills. Prepare a specific request for the legislator. If you are meeting with the legislator as a group, determine ahead of time who will lead the discussion.

2. Know about the legislators you are meeting with. You can find out more information on the elected official’s committee assignments, voting record, and bills they’ve authored by clicking here, searching your address and clicking on the legislators’ names.

3. Arrive on time and try to stick to one or two issues. Legislators’ schedules are very busy and always subject to change, so be flexible and patient. Don’t be discouraged if you end up meeting with staff members instead of the elected official as they have an important and influential role in the legislative process.

4. Introduce yourself and provide a brief background that highlights that you are a constituent as well as where you currently work and your pharmacy credentials. 

5. Discuss the issue and why it is important to you, taking the opportunity to share your perspective on the issue, including relevant personal stories. Ask the official’s opinion or if they have any questions. Offer to look into any questions that you can’t answer. Keep the conversation positive and always remain respectful of opposing positions. Don’t get confrontational.

6. Offer to serve as a professional resource. Leave a business card behind so that the official can contact you with any follow-up questions. If you offered to look into the answer to a question posed during the meeting, reach out to PSW’s Director of Public Affairs for help if needed, then provide a response to the official. 

7. Send a thank you note, thanking the official or their staff for their time and consideration. You should also briefly summarize the key points you discussed during your conversation and offer to be a resource on this or other pharmacy-related issues.

8. Let PSW’s Director of Public Affairs know how the meeting went. Was the legislator receptive? Did they oppose the legislation? Did they ask questions you would like PSW to help you answer?

Copyright © 2017 Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin. All rights reserved.
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