Ten years into my career as a public relations practitioner, I was seeking a challenge that would renew my passion for public relations and invigorate my career. Earning the Accreditation in Public Relations was just what I was looking for and more than I bargained for!
The application process is like nervous laughter — feels exciting and scary simultaneously. Preparing for the Readiness Review is time-consuming and thought-provoking. I was reminded by a mentor that the Readiness Review is not there to deter candidates from earning their APR. It is used to evaluate whether or not a candidate is ready to move forward or if further mentoring is needed. The computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations is, well, um, yeah — it’s tough!
In fact, the whole process was overwhelming at times. But the greatest asset I brought to the party was perseverance — I never gave up! When I earned my APR credential, it was a spectacular moment in time. The experience was also personally transformative, and I was certainly not expecting to have a profound experience that I now reflect upon with great appreciation.
With all that said, Accreditation is more than the achievement, in and of itself; it’s about the process. Earning the APR is an Available and Powerful Resource.
Accreditation was available when I was ready. Prior to actually submitting the APR application, there were no schedules, deadlines or pressure to become Accredited. I participated in the online cohorts and read the books in half-measure for over a year. It wasn’t enough. Successfully completing the Accreditation process took time, commitment and discipline. When the time came and I was fully motivated to earn my APR, I never looked back!
Those three simple letters, A-P-R, following my name exemplify a powerful accomplishment. Each day, I experience new levels of confidence, self-assurance, pride, security, astuteness — the benefits will continue ad infinitum throughout my career.
Accreditation is earned, but the process is also a resource for professional development and skill-building practice. Earning my APR deepened my existing scope of knowledge, enhanced my professional abilities and identified the skills that required further strengthening.
Doreen Harrell, APR, is a senior public relations associate with Kailo Communications Studio in Corpus Christi, Texas. She graduated from the “Island University” in 2003, with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in public relations. As a wife, mother and professional, she believes work-life balance is the key to joyful living.