Credibility. Confidence. Consistency
It’s almost like I cleaned my sunglasses and can now see clearly without peering through smudges that obstructed my sight. I now approach the way I do my job more systematically, and can measure success quantifiably. For those of us who entered the public relations realm without formal training, much of what we practice is tactically based. Count the press releases. Calculate the column inches. Tally the hits. But none of that answers, “So what, who cares?”
The value of APR isn’t the acronym. It is a proven formula that can be applied to every public relations challenge you face. Define the issue, conduct research (it anchors efforts in reality rather than speculation), analyze the results, develop and implement the plan and evaluate whether we’ve been successful.
The argument for APR: It will make you a better practitioner, help lend credibility to our profession, standardize practices and give you the confidence you need to tackle issues that come your way. Ready?
Commit to a realistic goal completion date.
Sign up for the Online Study Course. This is set up in digestible modules that are springboards for further study on each topic. Important — read the assignments.
Get several books from the recommended APR book shelf. I really liked “Public Relations Strategies and Tactics.”
Pick a project and complete it using the 10-step plan you’ll find in your materials. The best teacher is the experience itself. It puts everything in context. This is especially important for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, which uses practical application of the material as opposed to memorization.
Find a mentor and keep your skin thick. You’ll learn from their constructive criticism & you’ll be better for it.
Take an APR prep workshop, either through your local Chapter or National. Working with your peers is a great way to noodle through problems.
By Stacey Hajdak, APR, is the director of communications for Bucks County, PA.