The APR process is an excellent refresher in best practices, whether you are at the beginning, middle or end of your career. I guarantee that you will come away with a renewed zeal for this profession, a much richer view of the power of research and a much fuller toolkit for seeking answers when faced with those ever-present communication challenges. I call it the icing on the cake of my career.
I am grateful to the Tulsa PRSA Chapter for the great job it does of mentoring APR candidates. I suggest all candidates connect with a PRSA Chapter’s preparation class and mentoring program. The mentors let you know how and when to apply. The class and handouts are excellent preparation tools for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations. Our mentors also arranged the Readiness Review dates and panels.
The Readiness Review questionnaire and portfolio preparation were great reviews of my work and helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses. My panel provided thoughtful and accurate feedback, and I improved my ability to create goals and objectives through this process. Counseling & Recovery’s communications plan is much stronger today because of the Readiness Review process.
While some people pay for the online course, I chose to download the free study guide and used it to prepare for the Examination. I encourage candidates to spend the most time on research and reviewing case studies. I only purchased two of the recommended books, “The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law” and “Effective Public Relations.” They served me well in the Examination preparation to fill in the gaps from class notes and the study guide.
The only mistake I made was waiting almost a year after my Readiness Review to take the Examination. Anyone who goes through this process should take the Examination immediately after the classes and Readiness Review. This will keep you from having to spend hours reviewing the material again.
Are you thinking about pursuing your APR? I suggest you do. This success sets you apart from others in our field, and that is why I believe it to be the icing on the cake of any career.
Beverly Moore, APR, is a former daily newspaper editor and reporter with 20 years’ experience in nonprofit public relations. She directs community relations and communications for Counseling & Recovery Services of Oklahoma, a nonprofit community mental health center in Tulsa, Okla., with more than a dozen programs and services, 140 employees and 5,000 clients. She holds a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri–Columbia and was inducted into the Kappa Tau Alpha honor society at the University of Oklahoma while in graduate school. Moore sought and received a Google nonprofit grant for AdWord advertising, and her bi-monthly e-blast on mental health issues reaches 2,000 people.