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Working with Your PR Department

Your organization’s public relations (PR) department can be a great partner in telling pharmacy’s story.

Set up a meeting with the director or events coordinator to brainstorm activities that are best suited to your practice setting. Your patient care expertise is an important part of the story as your organization communicates with patients and the community at large through social media, patient newsletters and magazines, website stories, and more.

Here are some ways for you to engage with your PR department:

  • Offer to be an expert resource to answer media questions on medication-related issues. Remind the PR staff to suggest your availability on appropriate issues — even if the reporter did not think to ask to speak to a pharmacist.
  • Contribute to your site’s community outreach. Many hospitals, HMOs, ambulatory care centers, and other healthcare settings distribute periodic newsletters or magazines to the community as part of their marketing efforts. Propose scheduling a guest feature on what pharmacists in your setting are doing to improve patient care or offer to contribute to a regular column on medication issues.
  • Contribute to the internal employee newsletter. If your organization’s employee newsletter has a monthly “Meet the X Department” feature, take advantage of this spotlight by either writing the feature yourself or designating a pharmacy resident to write it.
  • Participate in a brown-bag event at a health fair. This is a great opportunity to engage directly with consumers. Work with the fair planners to include a message to the community encouraging consumers to bring the medicines they take daily. This will give you a chance to discuss medications with fair attendees.
  • Volunteer to speak about medication issues. Offer to speak about safe medication use at monthly forums, workshops, or support groups sponsored by your organization.

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