Since being a fresh-faced member of PRSSA in college, I’d heard about the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and its requirements. Full of vim and vigor, I tried desperately to ignore the warnings about hours of studying, mentally painful interviews and an endless test. Part of me knew I should be appropriately afraid, but the rest wondered why.
As I fulfilled the requirements to apply and learned what I could about APR and the process, I began to prepare for the Readiness Review. Career-searching sessions ensued as I looked desperately for “the campaign” to present to the Readiness Review panel that would illustrate my dedication to and focus on public relations and my unwavering belief in the ethics that guide everyday public relations efforts. As I worked toward the panel interview, I began to realize something very important — public relations is who I am. It’s what I do. It’s what I live.
No, this isn’t one of those “I am the job” ideas. Moreover, it’s that I base every aspect of my professional life on the tenets of public relations: ethics, fair practice, knowledge, skills and abilities.
As I became more comfortable knowing I practiced everything that makes PRSA and APR vital to the public relations field, I became more comfortable in my ability to successfully achieve Accreditation. I relaxed and realized that for my learning style, most of what would be tested were things I knew were integral to how I practice public relations. I concentrated on things I had not experienced in my career, such as business literacy, legal reporting and public relations history.
Following the Examination, my sense of jubilation mixed with relief gave way to a new mantra that I repeat every day and tell anyone who will listen: I know this stuff, and what I don’t, I can learn.
By Amber Chiang, APR is the director of marketing and public relations at Bakersfield College in Bakersfield, Calif. She has been active on the PRSA North Pacific District board for 10 years as the Web designer, and became a member of the executive board in 2009. Chiang earned her APR in August 2008. She has been a member of the Central California Chapter since 1996, and was Chapter president in 2002. She was named the Central California Professional of the Year in 2007. Chiang has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from California State University, Bakersfield, and was named Communications Alumni of the Year in 2009.
Ready to accelerate your career? Join Michele L. Hujber, APR, Bob Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA and Jason S. Kirsch, APR for a a four-day intensive for candidates to prepare and advance though the Readiness Review and take the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations at PRSA’s APR Boot Camp, Wednesday, August 26–Saturday, August 29, in New York, NY!