APR White Paper and Timeline Now Available
It’s early morning during the last full week of March, and it’s snowing outside…in Virginia! It’s a gentle snow, and undoubtedly one of winter’s last gasps before the full emergence of spring. I know spring is right around the corner, because the crocuses are in bloom and the flowers always seem to know.
It’s a perfect time to reflect upon my career, where it’s taken me and how satisfied I’ve been with the journey.
It’s been more than 40 years since I started along my path, and I still love this work that I do. In that time the field of public relations has grown and flourished.
Yet in some ways, our field is still in its infancy. We struggle to emerge as a profession in the cla
ssic sense of the term. For example, there is no licensing authority. We are making progress, however. We have built a credible research basis for the field and we engage clients—be they internal or external clients—as professionals. We also have professional organizations, each with their own codes of ethics to guide our practice.
The field also has a recognized credential program. It’s called Accredited in Public Relations. The APR. And, it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. And, April is APR month. As the snow falls and the seasons are about to change, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the credential and look forward to the promise it provides.
I’ve never been able to figure out why the APR has had such a hard time gaining traction. I’ve heard some feel it doesn’t measure what they do in the office. I’ve heard it takes too much time. I’ve heard people would rather get a master’s degree. APR measures why you do what you do. It measures what you should know in order to do what you do well. It takes as much time as you want it to take, and it is not a master’s degree. It is a credential that must be maintained, not point-in-time learning, but continual refinement, sharpening and adjustment of knowledge, skills, and abilities.
I better understand those who wonder what’s in it for them. What does a Readiness Review accomplish? How does a Computer-based Examination apply to my work? Why is maintenance required?
Today, the Universal Accreditation Board shares with you a White Paper and historical timeline of APR. These documents present an honest self-look at the evolution, management and state of the APR today and answer the questions I pose above. They arrive at an important time as PRSA, a UAB participating organization, examines the credential in light of the OPG study. I encourage you to read this White Paper, the timeline and the OPG study. Think about these critical documents. And, act on them for the betterment of the field.
Mitchell Marovitz is president-elect of the National Capital Chapter and a member of the Universal Accreditation Board.