After doing the research, I knew pursuing the APR designation was not going to be a breeze for someone with my schedule. In addition to dealing with a four state media relations responsibility for the nation’s largest home and auto insurer, I was also still distracted with the process of buying and moving into a new home in the spring of 2010. I also have the philosophy that one should work hard during the day, but maintain a healthy work/life balance. As I advanced into the APR process, my free time quickly began to vanish.
My desire to succeed led to the need to immerse myself in the curriculum and take part in more than eight well-organized, valuable study sessions with other aspiring APRs in the Georgia PRSA Chapter. The information obtained during these sessions helped prepare me not only for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, but also for the Readiness Review process. After successfully being Advanced through the Readiness Review process in the summer of 2010, I set my sights on the computer-based Examination by dedicating a certain amount of time several nights a week and every weekend to prepare for the challenge.
When I received the unofficial pass, it was like the weight of the world had lifted off my shoulders. That day in December 2010 is a significant moment in my career that has already had an impact on how I perform my current public relations responsibilities. I think that obtaining the APR designation not only arms me with additional knowledge and confidence, but also makes others have confidence in my abilities as a public relations practitioner. I look forward to using the skills I have learned and the continuing education that APRs are now required to take part in.
Roszell Gadson, APR, is a public affairs specialist with State Farm Insurance. Based in Atlanta, he is responsible for external media relations strategy for the states of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina. Before joining State Farm, Roszell spent more than 15 years as a television news reporter and anchor in various cities around the country and worked as press secretary for a U.S. congressional campaign.