Over the past few weeks, I have been delighted to see a higher level of engagement than has probably been seen in the past. Much of this has been through modern social media routes such as Twitter and Telegram. This is something the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) should investigate further to see how it utilises these media to maximise the engagement with members and non-members that utilise these media routes. The debate has been challenging and maybe some of it has drifted into areas that sit outside the remit of a professional body, but nonetheless demonstrate some issues that the RPS should recognise have an impact on the profession. It should explain how elements sit with other organisations but continue to demonstrate its engagement with the issues from the perspective of implication of a professional able to deliver at the highest level of care.
At the same time, there is a need to recognise that the media world has actually become far more complex as there are many who do not engage with social media. This creates a challenge on ensuring this cohort of members and non-members is fully recognised and catered for in the best possible way. This may be by using newsletters, blogs and articles published in various printed journals and in local engagement events, some of which admit non-members. To achieve some of these, the RPS needs to be reviewing how effectively all the media it currently uses is in achieving that engagement. The difficulty is not with those members who are accessing these materials, it is with those who are not, but this must be the members and non-members we need to hear more from so that overall engagement grows.
I have great confidence in the staff working for the RPS in all these developments but the senior staff must be careful that in managing cost the RPS does not undermine value. This will be a challenge for the new RPS chief executive when he takes up his post and for the Assembly in holding him and the senior staff to account in delivering against strategic objectives.
At the same time the board members must remember they are there representing that broad base of membership and should always challenge themselves with the question ‘what would the members think’ and how effective they are in engaging with members and non-members personally to maintain and grow the membership.
Challenges exist but opportunity beckons.
Election candidate, English Pharmacy Board
Royal Pharmaceutical Society
The candidate letters for the RPS national pharmacy board elections have not been edited by The Pharmaceutical Journal