A common way for a governor or mayor to recognize important issues is to issue a proclamation commemorating special events, such as Occupational Therapy Month.
The first step is to contact the public official's office with a request for a proclamation. Call to ask the name of the staff member who handles these requests and ask if there are any special rules or guidelines to follow in terms of content and format. Ask if you may provide language for use in the proclamation.
Leverage the impact of this proclamation by getting a photograph into your local newspaper of the governor or mayor presenting an occupational therapist with the proclamation.
Also, inquire as to whether the official can participate in a presentation ceremony, whether their press office can provide a photographer to record the presentation, and whether your occupational therapy group can obtain prints of the photo to distribute to the media. If you can get a copy of the photograph, send it to the city editor of your local paper with a paragraph about the proclamation and the importance of occupational therapy.
A proclamation often takes 4-8 weeks, so it's important to start this process as early as possible.
Below is sample language that you may wish to provide with your request for a proclamation:
Sample Proclamation Text
Whereas: The American Occupational Therapy Association has declared the month of April [Insert Year] to be known as Occupational Therapy Month, and
Whereas: The profession of occupational therapy makes valuable contributions in helping people "Live Life to Its Fullest" after an illness or injury, and
Whereas: The services of occupational therapy are available to citizens of [your city, county, or state] through hospitals, home health agencies, schools, clinics, and nursing homes; and
Whereas: The health and productivity of our citizens depend upon the effective use of health care resources, including the important services of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants;
Therefore, I [mayor, governor, official] of [city, county or state] do hereby proclaim the month of April [Insert Year] as Occupational Therapy Month and call upon all citizens to recognize the achievements and contributions of these valued health professionals.